While many businesses are slowing down or closing for the coming weeks due to the coronavirus, food shelves are working to keep up with the increased number of people using the service that they provide.
Mari Mellick, the executive director of the United Way Hastings, said food shelves have been working to support their communities but organizers have worries and needs as the pandemic continues. Many of the food shelf volunteers are senior citizens and thus in the at-risk population for COVID-19.
To reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. most food shelves have closed buildings to everyone but staff and volunteers and implemented curbside or drive-through pickups.
The needs of food shelves will change as the situation fluctuates. One way that people can help is by donating money online or by mail. Minnesota FoodShare holds an annual fundraising event in March where any money or food donated to participating food shelves with be proportionally matched. Because of COVID-19, the program has been extended through April.
The needs of individual food shelves vary. Check their websites or contact them to find where they most require help.
Food shelf contact and information
Friends in Need Food Shelf
535 Fourth St, St. Paul Park
Hours: Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Note from Friends in Need: Due to the coronavirus, they are instituting a temporary service model intended to reduce close contact between the clients and between clients and volunteers. If clients need help and live in Cottage Grove, Newport, St. Paul Park or Grey Cloud Island, they can call 651-458-0730 on Monday between noon and 3:00 p.m., or Tuesday after 7:30 a.m. to make an appointment.
For more information about the food shelf, donations and how to help, visit: www.finfood.org, or call: 651-458-0730.
Hastings Family Services: The Market
301 Second Street East, Hastings
Notes from Hastings Family Services: Please call 651‐437‐7134 for available appointment times. Due to increased demand, same day appointments may not be available. Please try to schedule appointments two to three days in advance so we may best meet your schedule.
For more information about the food shelf, donations and how to help, visit: hastingsfamilyservice.org, or call: 651-437-7134.
Red Wing Food Shelf
1755 Old West Main St., Red Wing
Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays, 11 a.m. to 1 .m.
For more information about the food shelf, donations and how to help, visit: www.redwingfoodshelf.org, or call: 651-388-9302 during open hours and 651-385-7521 after hours.
Lake City Food Shelf
600 South Eighth St., Lake City
Hours: Tuesday: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The second and fourth Saturdays of the month: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
For more information visit: lakecityfoodshelf.org, or call: 651-345-5888.
River Falls Community Food Pantry
705 St. Croix St., River Falls
Hours: Monday: 10 a.m. to noon and 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday: 10 a.m. to noon; Second Saturdays: 10 a.m. to noon
For more information visit: rfcfp.org, or call: 715-425-6880.
Pierce County Food Pantry
440 North Maple Street, Ellsworth
Food pickup Hours: Monday: 9:30 a.m. to noon; Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. to noon; Wednesday: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to noon -- Always by appointment
Contact Pierce County Food Pantry at 715-273-2070
Note: Clients will not be allowed inside the pantry. “So we are minimizing direct contact with our customers, they’re not coming into our building,” a Pierce County Food Pantry spokesperson said.
They can stay in their car as the pantry will have prepacked boxes of goods for their current clients. Clients will also have the opportunity to request additional items not in the prepacked box from a menu list.
“We did lose a couple of volunteers who decided to stay at home," said the spokesperson.
Volunteers are in short supply at the moment.
Prescott Area Food Pantry
720 St. Croix St. Number 119, Prescott
Hours: Thursday: noon to 3 p.m.; Friday: noon to 3 p.m.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Prescott Area Food Pantry will have reduced hours and limited services. There will be no in-store shopping. Clients should show their ID at the door and wait in their car until the pantry has placed bags outside. The pantry is not accepting any donated food until further notice for food safety reasons.
Five Loaves Food Shelf
144 West Third St., Suite D, New Richmond
Hours: Monday: 6:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; Wednesday: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Thursday: 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For more information visit: www.5loavesfoodandclothing.org, or call: 715-246-5255.
Somerset Community Food Pantry
203 Church Hill Rd. Somerset
Hours: Monday: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Thursday: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to noon.
Note: Thursday is Produce Day and Produce is available to all in the community.
If you are unable to visit the food pantry during the listed hours, call the pantry to make an appointment for a different time. The pantry will attempt to accommodate requests.
For more information visit: www.somersetfoodpantry.org or call: 715-247-2945.
Spring Valley Area Food Pantry
St .John's Education Building, S520 Church Ave, Spring Valley
Open the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Note: No one will be allowed into the building and all food will be preboxed and outside.
Contact the Spring Valley Food Pantry at 715-778-5988
Roberts Area Food Pantry
Roberts Congregational United Church of Christ: 1001 Birch Drive, Roberts
Hours: Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The food shelf is also open by appointment.
For more information visit: robertsucc.org/food-pantry, or call: 715-749-3478.
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