FFEN in the Field Updates

Springfield Area Food Shelf

Last month, FFEN Staff and volunteers visited Springfield Area Food Shelf’s new space (Allina Health Springfield Clinic Building) to see the space, hear about their successes and challenges, and discuss their Food Sourcing Analysis. It was one of the first food shelf visits in which we used the updated FSA Report. Springfield’s lead volunteers were excited to see the changes represented between the 2019 and 2020 reports, highlighting some of the sourcing changes and improvements they had already made. Now they're shifting priorities towards the Top 5 Client Requested items were able to be highlighted in quantitative ways. As they utilize their new space, this data will help them continue to make informed decisions about how they can source items most requested by their food shelf shoppers.

Simpson UMC Food Shelf

FFEN volunteers recently met with Simpson Housing UMC for a FSA consultation as well. Simpson Food Pantry had been utilizing food boxes from the USDA’s Farmers to Families program (CFAP), and were concerned about how to continue to source similar products, specifically dairy and produce, with the program ending. The FSA Report, and guidance from FFEN volunteers helped them identify an opportunity to utilize USDA commodities (TEFAP) to obtain some of these products. In order to source additional fresh products through TEFAP, cooler capacity was also identified as an issue to address to allow for fresh produce and dairy to last longer. FFEN was able to help with this and purchased a double glass door refrigerator for Simpson that they will use to store these new fresh offerings!

Lonsdale Food Shelf

Lonsdale Area Food Shelf is excited to be moving into a new location this summer and requested FFEN’s help designing their layout. The data from the FSA Report was important in determining sourcing changes as they make this transition and also helps to inform needs for their layout design and service processes. The updated FSA Report highlights the amount of fresh produce and dairy that a food shelf provides for each individual served. Upon seeing their numbers, Lonsdale Food Shelf leaders set a goal to bring in more fresh produce and dairy in their new building, as well as provide shoppers more frequent access to these high value items. Funding from FFEN for two glass double door coolers will help set them up for success as they work towards these goals.