Since 1985, the Food Shelf has provided food each month for people in need. In 2014-15, over 50,000 pounds of food is distributed each month to about 465 local families. The Food Shelf provides high-quality, nutritious food to people in need. The Food Shelf stocks commercially prepared, non-perishable food including canned fruits and vegetables, soup, pasta and tomato sauce, rice, milk, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, canned meat, baby food and formula. The Food Shelf also stocks non-food items such as toilet paper, diapers, detergent and soap.
The Food Shelf is open Mondays 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Tuesdays from 12:00 noon - 7:00 pm, Thursdays from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm and Fridays from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Fresh produce is available on a first-come, first-serve basis to households the last hour of each day the Food Shelf is open. Bread is available Monday – Friday mornings on the second floor table outside the CAC offices.
Donations are accepted any time that the Food Shelf is open.
How Does it Work?
To participate in this program, apply at the Community Action Center office (1651 Jefferson Parkway, Suite HS-200). Once registered, participants pick up a five-day supply of groceries once a month. The food varies in type, but the focus is always on food that offers good nutrition. For more information about eligibility requirements, click here.
The Community Action Center has bags of food available for emergencies in the main office. Grocery vouchers may be provided to meet special needs.
Delivery of food is available for those with physical disabilities who are not able to come to the Food Shelf. Most commonly those receiving deliveries are the elderly and those with disabilities.
Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS)
In addition to using the Food Shelf, senior citizens living at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for NAPS, a monthly supplemental food program. Senior citizens can register for the NAPS program by visiting the Community Action Center office (1651 Jefferson Parkway, Suite HS-200). Income and residency requirements can be found here.
Mothers and Children (MAC)
In addition to using the Food Shelf, mothers with children under the age of six who are at or below 185 percent of the poverty level and are not receiving WIC are eligible for MAC. This program is for children up to age six, women who have a baby under one year old, nursing mothers, and pregnant women. The Minnesota Department of Health administers this supplemental food program which provides:
- Fruits, vegetables and juices
- Milk (dry or evaporated)
- Meat, egg mix, dry beans and peanut butter
- Cereal and rice, instant potatoes or pasta
- Bonus items like honey, oatmeal and grits, when available
- Infant cereal and formula
Holiday Food Distribution
St. Dominic’s Church distributes Thanksgiving foods to families who use the Food Shelf during October. The Salvation Army provides meat to smaller households for Thanksgiving.
The Community Action Center accepts donations of food and money year round. During the month of March the Community Action Center participates in the statewide Minnesota FoodShare campaign in which churches, community service groups, students, businesses and other groups creatively collect money and food to benefit our neighbors in need. The Community Action Center stretches donated dollars by purchasing food from a Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest) Food Bank at about $.25 per pound. The Community Action Center is a member of our regional Feeding America Food Bank, an organization that accepts huge quantities of donated food from corporations and commodities from the federal government. Feeding America then warehouses the goods for food shelves in our area.