Nearly 5,000 people were expected at the Mall of America on Thanksgiving morning for the 15th annual Walk to End Hunger benefiting seven Twin Cities metro hunger relief organizations including food shelves, food banks, meal programs like Meals on Wheels, and Hunger Solutions.
With inflation and the rising cost of food, Hunger Solutions Minnesota associate director Rachel Holmes said sourcing food has become harder than ever.
"The need is really great right now and people are struggling to afford food for their tables," Holmes said. "Our food shelves and food programs are experiencing the same problems. Food is expensive."
According to Holmes, they are able to provide 75 meals with ever $25 raised.
"It's no secret that everybody is struggling right now. Even families that have traditionally been able to support the walk may need to reconsider their donation amounts due to how expensive everything is," Holmes said. "We're seeing a lot of people face food insecurity for the very first time this year."
This year their fundraising goal is $200,000 with donations accepted through the end of December.
Doors opened to the Walk to End Hunger at the Mall of America at 7 a.m. Thursday with the event running from 8 until 10.
MOA remained closed to shopping on Thanksgiving Day for the seventh year in a row.