Burgundy Bag Food Drive

A solution to hunger? Pax Christi Catholic Community has it in the bag! Grab a Burgundy Bag and join in our parish effort to respond to those who are facing hunger in our community. The bags are reusable and are meant to be taken to the grocery store, filled with foodstuffs, and brought back to church for transport to the PROP food shelf. Everyone who drops off a bag of food at the church is invited to take an empty tote bag back home and repeat the process so that the Pax Christi food drive runs continuously.

CLICK HERE to view PROP's current needs list.


As featured in The Eden Prairie News and The Catholic Spirit week of March 1, 2009

EP church’s food donations are up five-fold. The secret?  It’s in the bag!

An Eden Prairie church has put a tangible reminder of food-shelf needs in the hands of its members, and the results are impressive.

After distributing burgundy-colored, canvas-like tote bags to church-goers the weekend of Jan. 10 and 11, Pax Christi Catholic Community collected 4,987 pounds of food for PROP that month, more than five times the 965 pounds collected in January of last year.








The bags have a message printed on the side: “A solution to hunger? Pax Christi Catholic Community has it in the bag!” They are reusable and
are meant to be taken to the grocery store, filled with foodstuffs, and dropped off at the church for transport to PROP’s food shelf.

Everyone who drops off a bag of food at the church is invited to take an empty tote bag back home and repeat the process, so that the Pax Christi food drive runs continuously. The Eden Prairie church has more than 11,000 active members.

Pax Christi has long supported PROP, organizing food donation drives on the first weekend of each month, but leaders recognized the community’s food needs were growing “and our capacity to meet those needs hadn’t been fully tapped out,” said Michael Griffin, director of faith formation at the church.

So organizers came up with the idea of reusable food bags and decided to roll out the new program in January, when holiday drives had passed.

Griffin says part of the reason the idea caught on with church members is that the bag is a “reminder vehicle.” The food bags can be spotted in use at the grocery store, and in the hallways at Pax Christi, where bins are overflowing with the burgundy totes filled with food.

“It just seems to have been novel enough that people jumped on it,” he said. “And I think this kind of activity can be contagious.”

Anne Harnack, PROP’s executive director, said she’s thrilled with Pax Christi’s unique idea and its results. “It’s wonderful,” she said. “This could be a new trend for other churches.”

While it remains to be seen whether Pax Christi can sustain those high donation numbers – January’s effort was bolstered by a message from the pulpit – Harnack for one is hopeful. And one reason is that highly visible tote. “It’s visual – you have that bag so you think of the food shelf,” she said.

PROP continues to see an increase in requests for food and other help. It is serving nearly 120 households per week, with the number growing by an average of five families per week, according to Harnack.

Last year the food shelf, which serves needy persons in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen, distributed 406,000 pounds of food, 93 percent of which was donated by churches, businesses, individuals, neighborhood associations and local grocers.

For more information about how to donate to PROP, visit its Web site at www.propfood.org.

-Mark A. Weber


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Pax Christi Catholic Community

12100 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347

952-941-3150

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