Essential Needs

Investing dollars and talent into the transformation and sustainability of Minnesota food shelves.

News And Info

The Opportunity

Hunger remains a serious issue in our communities, as Minnesota food shelf visits continue to increase post-recession.  More and more Minnesotans rely on food shelves not only for episodic emergencies, but as a consistent resource to relieve their monthly food budgets.  Each year, local food shelves work tirelessly to feed community members coming through their doors, while navigating a quickly-changing environment that calls for more fresh and healthy food to help solve hunger.


The Foundation for Essential Needs is a unique, nimble and innovative resource that partners with food shelves to help them successfully respond to the big changes happening in hunger relief — while meeting client-centered food needs.

Our Vision

Reshape the food shelf system to provide equitable, healthy and predictable food options throughout Minnesota.

The Growing Need


Increase in visits to Minnesota food shelves, post-recession


Clients receiving half or more of their total food from a food shelf


Clients using their local food shelf for over a year

How We Are Helping


Number of Minnesota food shelves strengthened with FFEN's consulting expertise, 2013 -- 2019, now operating more efficiently to feed fresher food to more people.


Number of refrigerators and freezers FFEN has made possible through its grant funding, 2013 -- 2019, ensuring that produce, dairy, and meat can be offered. Here’s how we help fill those coolers.


Dollars FFEN has granted, 2013 -- 2019, to local food shelves.

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