Minnesota Moment: Smaller Non-Profits Saving Money on Food Thanks to Loaves and Fishes Food Hub

October 09, 2018 11:28 PM

Smaller non-profits in the Twin Cities are saving money on groceries by not going to the grocery store. It's thanks to a first-of-its-kind partnership between Loaves and Fishes and Second Harvest Heartland.

Once a week, Peggy White from Sarah's, an Oasis for Women in St. Paul, goes grocery shopping at the Hub, a new Loaves and Fishes food warehouse in Minneapolis.


White buys tons of tomatoes, loads of limes, bags and bags of bread and wonderful watermelons. 

"And we are very grateful," said White."I just thank Loaves and Fishes for seeing a need and providing a solution." 

The problem smaller non-profits were having is they could buy large quantities of food from Second Harvest Heartland, but it was usually more food than they needed.

Cathy Maes is Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes.

"We are a redistributor, the first redistributor of food from Second Harvest Heartland in Minnesota," she said.

"Loaves and Fishes and Second Harvest Heartland have this partnership to provide the right food, at the right place, at the right time, for those who need it" said Marcus Schmit, Director of Advocacy for Second Harvest Heartland. "We need to work with partners like Loaves and Fishes who are targeting small populations of Minnesotans who are experiencing hunger; people who are faced with these other challenges right now."  

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"We charge nine cents a pound," said Maes. "So if you take, 100 pounds, it's a lot of money."

Seth Evans works at Metro Hope Ministries. He shops at the Hub because it allows him to buy only the food they need.

"It greatly reduces our food costs. I just got 1,300 pounds of food for $117. That's going to feed 108 people for a week," he said.

According to Evans, saving money on food allows them to put more money back into their ministry of serving men, women and mothers in recovery.

"It absolutely does. And we're able to get better food. Nutrition, it's a major component to your recovery," Evans said.

When the Hub opened six months ago, it served four non-profits. It has now grown to 14. Maes believes this is just the beginning.

"The sky is the limit. I don't know who else is going to be knocking on our door. But if you need food that's what we're here for," she said.

The new Loaves and Fishes Hub is open for business. They will even help you load your groceries. 


Kevin Doran

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