Destination Freedom’s Grocery Bagging a Success

Destination Freedom’s grocery bagging at Cub Foods, Blaine, Minnesota has been described as success. The organization was at the Northtown mall branch of the food chain, Sunday, to bag groceries for holiday shoppers and create awareness about human trafficking.

Destination Freedom is a local organization in the Anoka County area of the Twin Cities educating and rescuing victims of human trafficking. Members of the organizations were in a customized blue T-shirt with bagging groceries for hundreds of shoppers. Traffic was particularly high at the store for the holiday season. Renee Pikula, Co-founder and Vice President of the organization said “I have bagged thousands of groceries” at 2.10pm already showing the amount of crowd present at the grocery store.

The shoppers were enthusiastic about learning what human trafficking is. Many stopped at the little desk provided in between the ice machine and the exit door. Debbie Hackbarth, one of the members said, “at least 200 people stopped at the table.”

“A lot of people are shocked that trafficking is going on and they never knew about it until today,” Pikula said. Marie Keener, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Destination freedom added that the event was more successful with shoppers willing to learn more about the issue of human trafficking.  She said: “We raised a lot of awareness. Few people have known about human trafficking. A couple of people don’t know about it. It’s been a big success. People are asking a lot of questions and that is what is good about it.”

Keener, who believed that awareness is key to rescuing victims of human trafficking stressed the need to use such avenues as grocery stores to reach every nationality. She noted: “It’s a great way of creating awareness. The more people get it in their face, they more they talk about it in their normal life and the more they will keep looking for it in the community and the more we can rescue.”

“Every nationality is here. It’s exciting because the place is so diverse. We have enough culture to get it and get awareness.”

Marie commended the shoppers’ kindness with donations to the organizations. She hinted that Sunday holidays and Saturdays, weekend days are great days for revenue to help support the organizations efforts at grocery stores. She was grateful to Cub Foods for giving them the opportunity to create awareness and raise some funds to help their cause. “Cub Foods have always been generous to us. They always give gift cards.”

Destination Freedom hopes to round the various grocery stores in the Anoka County area. It has already been at two other stores including, Riverdale Cub Foods in Coon Rapids and Elk River.
 You can contact Destination Freedom at

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