OLIVIA -- Cash donations to help the Renville County Food Shelf in Olivia replace what it lost in an arson-caused fire are near $14,000.
The funds are being used to replace equipment lost in the fire, including commercial freezers and refrigerators, according to Ardis Wertish of the Food Shelf.
The outpouring of help allowed the Food Shelf to re-open at a new location in downtown Olivia on Sept. 19, or just 10 days after the fire. The new location is in the Dirk's Home Theatre Building, only one block from its original location.
Donations continue to come in for the food shelf, and they are much appreciated and needed, according to Mary Schroepfer, treasurer. Next on the food shelf's wish list is hope of obtaining a computer, she said.
Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar donated $5,000 to the food shelf in September. The contribution was matched by a $5,000 donation from the Home Town Bank of Olivia. Contributions by individuals and other businesses have brought the total to just under $14,000.
-- Tom Cherveny