Frogtown food shelf hoping to expand as community need grows

Frogtown food shelf hoping to expand as community need grows

Frogtown food shelf hoping to expand as community need grows

A St. Paul food shelf is looking for a larger space to hold their weekly food pantry to help more families in the neighborhood.

Volunteers hold a weekly food shelf at Mt. Olivet Church, but they need a bigger space to serve more people.

In a room tucked inside Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, volunteers are hoping to take the burden of food insecurity off the shoulders of Minnesotans.

“I have such a passion for making sure that people are cared for and that people eat well and that this community is healthy,” Andrea Thomas, Nourish Food shelf nonprofit operator, said.

For the last four years, Thomas and volunteers have opened the doors of the church weekly to give free food to at least 200 families who need it.

“Food insecurity is not improving, it’s getting worse,” Thomas said. “Funding is not improving for us either.”

She explained the weekly demand is outgrowing the space.

The nonprofit has seen food shelves in Frogtown close through the years.

Now, they’re absorbing all of the patrons that were going to the other pantries.

The organization teamed up with Second Harvest to keep the shelves stocked with food, but finding space for it is a challenge.

The church has worship services in a room that doubles as a food shelf, but leaders found it’s not sustainable.

“We have not enough space and not enough storage to contain the food that we have,” Thomas said.

Volunteers spend hours picking up and tearing down tables and revamping the space to fit the need, but Thomas said a bigger space would allow them to fill more plates with food in the long run.

“With another space, what it would allow us to do is possibly be open more than one day per week,” Thomas said.

If you know of a building space that could help the nonprofit expand or would like to donate toward an expansion inside the church, contact Nourish or donate here through Mt. Olivet Lab School.