Feeding, giving back to St. Paul community in need

A local organization is going the extra mile to help those experiencing homelessness in St. Paul.

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Sunday afternoon, volunteers passed out free meals to feed people in need.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health data, on any given night in 2020, nearly 8,000 people experienced homelessness in the state — and 5,000 of them were in the metro.

Feeding St. Paul, a local organization, is striving to make a difference.

“It’s a trial you know, so I’m just trying to get back on my feet,” Jose Cobian Jr., who is living in homelessness, said.

Cobian Jr. calls climbing out of homelessness a journey.

“I take it one day at a time,” he said.

But he said Sundays are the best days.

Feeding St. Paul parks their food cart downtown every Sunday afternoon while people in need line up.

“We have people tell us every Sunday that this is the day they look forward to,” Michael Brendale, volunteer, said. “This is a way of us giving back and bringing community together and having a great time.”

Warm food and winter clothing are free of charge. Volunteers said the feeling of giving back is priceless.

“It’s a miracle to see smiles when they feel like they have nothing,” Cindy Woldstad, volunteer, said.

Serving those living in homelessness is a part of Woldstad’s weekly routine — because at one point she was in their shoes.

“I understand the struggles. I understand being homeless because when my children were little we were homeless a few times,” she said. “So I understand that and I’m here with a nonjudgmental attitude.”

Cobian Jr. said the kindness gives him a sense of hope.

“I’m excited to get back on my feet again,” Cobian Jr. said.

The Feeding St. Paul food cart is right in front of the Dorothy Day Residence every Sunday afternoon from 12-2:30 p.m. until further notice, the organization said. Volunteers are welcome.

Contact Francesca Collyard at Feedingsaintpaul@gmail.com to get involved.