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'Christmas in Wadena' gives after-holiday gift to food shelf

The Wadena Food Shelf received a check for $1,556.64 from GP Anderson. Courtesy photo.

As the 2017 Christmas season has concluded, GP Anderson, creator of the "Christmas In Wadena" animated light show, gathered up food and monetary gifts to bring to Project Share of Wadena, the local food shelf in Wadena.

A check for $1,556.64 was handed to Mary Ann Hagen, volunteer of the Wadena Food Shelf along with 417 pounds of food. Over the past ten years, Christmas In Wadena has collected more than 3,451 pounds of food and $12,575.70 for the food shelf.

Anderson said he does it because "to truly relieve hunger in our community, it's important that we first transform the thinking behind hunger relief. Providing a bag of groceries to a person in need today is obviously important. But how do we make it so that person isn't in need tomorrow?" he asked.

"Implementing sustainable systems that feed our neighbors in immediate need while helping them get back on their feet and in position to help others is the key to ending the cycle of hunger," he said. "It's becoming increasingly clear that providing our hungry neighbors information about available resources is just as important as the food source itself. What good is a food source if no one knows about it?"

Christmas In Wadena is an animated light show to music that is created, produced, edited, mixed, built and maintained by Anderson. Thousands of people have visited the free display over past holiday seasons. The 2018 season begins Nov. 23.