Our Programs


White Bear Lake (Ramsey County)

Need: Weekend meals for area kids over the summer
Impact: FFEN partnered with Step One Foods and White Bear Area Food Shelf last summer to provide nutritious food for local kids. While many children receive free or reduced-cost meals during the school year, there is a gap over the summer. Thanks to the program, called “KID Pack,” White Bear area kids in need received six nutritious meals each weekend of the summer – delivered in a backpack. FFEN provided funding for the program, and Step One Foods provided the nutritious food for the backpacks, which were distributed by White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf.


Chisholm (St. Louis County)

Need: Mobility, access to healthy food
Impact: In May 2016, FFEN partnered with Chisholm Food Shelf to help address increasing hunger in Chisholm and its surrounding communities. FFEN encouraged Chisholm to apply for a grant, which they used to launch a mobile food shelf in June 2017. The Chisholm mobile food shelf provides food pantry services to the surrounding communities of Balkan, Side Lake, Buhl and Kinney. This mobile outreach has broken through a barrier by increasing access to those not easily served – and therefore have been going without. It has also improved product offering by providing fresh, healthy food in addition to canned goods. And it’s made an incredible impact. In 2016, Chisholm served 170 families per month, but with the addition of mobile food shelf services, Chisholm Food Shelf has seen an increase of 49 percent and is now serving 254 families per month!


Woodbury (Washington County)

Need: Bigger space
Impact: Rarely does a food shelf get to build a new building, but Christian Cupboard in Woodbury did! They outgrew their space in the basement of Woodbury Lutheran Church, so the communities of Woodbury, Oakdale, Maplewood and Landfall came together to support this amazing expansion project. Opened in January 2018, the new 6,000-square-foot space is designed to include a food distribution center and a community market. FFEN is proud to have been a grantor for the project, initially assisting with layout and design of the building. In addition, FFEN worked with the organization’s leadership to design the technology footprint for data and phone systems at the new food shelf. FFEN’s professional services grants for technology will launch Christian Cupboard with efficient and cost-effective technology solutions to meet the needs of their clients.

St. Paul (Ramsey County)

Need: More efficient spending model, new refrigeration
Impact: Located in the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul, Hallie Q. Brown food shelf was feeling the stress of another food shelf in their neighborhood closing last year – with 720 families a month to feed on a very limited budget. The Hallie Q. team was diligent in submitting grants, leveraging food rescue opportunities and enlisting neighborhood gardens, but stretching an already tight budget was proving difficult. FFEN created an efficient spending model to help the food shelf allocate funds for each product category and create volume-purchasing guidelines. Within two months, FFEN helped Hallie Q. feed all 720 families in need, as well as secure new refrigeration, a new scale and expanded rescued food donations.

Koochiching County

Need: New facility and refrigeration
Impact: Up in far northern Minnesota, the Northome food shelf in Koochiching County had been making do for years in an old studio apartment with no toilet, no running water and inadequate heat. The food shelf was only open twice a month and rarely had any fresh produce or dairy due to lack of storage. With the number of families in need continuing to grow, Northome was in desperate need of a new facility. With some coaching and grantwriting from FFEN, Northome secured grants from the Blandin Foundation and Open Your Heart. Blandin funded the operational costs, and Open Your Heart paid for new refrigeration. In October 2017, the food shelf moved to a modern space, equipped with a refrigerator and a freezer – and it is now open every week! The Blandin grant also provided funds to assure that every client receives milk, eggs and fresh produce on every single visit.