MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Five months after the state began its battle against COVID-19, the virus is having a devastating effect on low income families.

“We’re experiencing a surge that could soon mimic that of the Great Depression,” Dana Nelson, with Second Harvest Heartland, said. “One in eight Minnesotans are worried about food, and they don’t know if they can afford groceries and how to feed their families. It’s extremely stressful.”

In North Minneapolis, a large food distribution effort is going on to provide good nutrition to families in need. It’s the second of three large distribution efforts sponsored by the Northpoint Health and Wellness Center and its community partners.

Trying to stay healthy during a pandemic is hard enough, but for families who are already food insecure, the challenge is downright daunting. On Friday, between 350 and 500 families are receiving boxes of fresh produce, meat and dairy products.

All of the food was donated and thanks to a partnership with Second Harvest Heartland, Wells Fargo and Minneapolis Mad Dads.

“It’s huge for individuals like that, and it’s important to get fresh fruits and vegetables in the city,” VJ Smith, with Mad Dads, said. “Because everything was burned down and everything gone, where do you get it from and can you even afford it?”

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Two more of these food distribution Fridays are set for Sept. 11 and Sept. 25.

“Due to the pandemic with COVID, people are out of work, people have food insecurities. Right now we just want to be their support network to help them know they don’t have to worry about what they eat. We’re here for them,” Loretta Arradondo, with Northpoint Health and Wellness Center, said.

In addition, those without a car don’t need to find transportation, because they’re delivering another 150 of these food caches to families in need.

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