MOBILIZING THE COMMUNITY St. Louis County (Chisholm)
Need: Refrigeration to provide more nutritious food
Impact: A partnership with Walmart, expanded capacity and a new mobile service
FFEN’s partnership with Chisholm Food Shelf in 2016 was transformational in many ways. What started as a request for a single refrigerator, expanded to a true community partnership between FFEN, Walmart, Open Your Heart and Hunger Solutions. By adding 150 cubic feet of cold storage, Chisholm can now receive weekly healthy food rescue donations from Walmart. Chisholm also has a new truck to transport those donations to their shelf. Chisholm has big dreams and with grant writing help from FFEN, they secured monies from Hunger Solutions to start a mobile food shelf to expand their reach to the surrounding communities.
A CATALYST FOR CHANGE Pine Island (Goodhue County)
Need: Improve the quality of food and reach more families
Impact: Healthier food offerings, lower food sourcing cost and expanded hours to serve working families
FFEN partnered with the Pine Island Sharing Shelves to significantly increase their fresh food options and overall capacity. FFEN helped Pine Island increase their refrigeration capacity by over 400% and decrease their food waste by 50%. Increased capacity has allowed Pine Island to start a new food rescue program with Kwik Trip and work with local farmers to source fresh seasonal crops thereby significantly reducing food sourcing costs.
The ability to source and store more fresh food has also allowed the shelf to increase the hours they are open by 37%. Pine Island is now open in the evening and this makes it possible to serve working families in need. Since the expansion in services, 26 new families have been served and are also benefitting nutritionally due to FFEN’s assistance.
EASIER ACCESS LEADS TO INCREASED REVENUE St. Charles Resource Center (Winona County)
Need: A ramp to make the facility accessible to people with limited mobility
Impact: A 50% increase in revenue, better donor engagement, improved community perception
FFEN’s partnership with the St. Charles Hometown Resource Center presented some unique challenges which led to outcomes that were better than expected outcomes. What started as help to provide better access to their thrift store and food shelf turned into a vital partnership between the Resource Center, FFEN, the Otto Bremer Foundation, the city and other local organizations.
Bringing these groups together to provide better access drove a 50% increase in revenue for the thrift store which in turn, provided more funding for the related food shelf operations.
With FFEN’s support, St. Charles’ Board has leveraging this success, and their horizon has been increased. They are now looking to expand services in 2017 focused on additional program offerings in training and educational services.