Agency Partner Spotlight: White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf

May 30, 2013 By: SHH Category: WordPress Import

Second Harvest Heartland distributes food to about 1,000 food shelves and other agency partners in its service area. These agency partners work hard to provide food directly to clients.

Just a stone’s throw away from busy US Highway 61 in White Bear Lake, vegetables grow in neat rows where an asphalt parking lot used to stand. This new on-site garden, built and tended by volunteers and created to provide hungry families with fresh produce, is one of the innovations underway at the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf.

“By partnering with volunteers, churches, businesses and organizations such as Second Harvest Heartland, we are able to feed more hungry families every year,” says Executive Director Ann Searles.

The White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf has been providing food to neighbors in need since 1977. They started out in an old fire station, moved into their own building in 2000 and are currently planning an expansion and renovation that will include a new produce prep room. In 2012, the organization served more than 10,000 individuals and distributed 230,924 pounds of food to families in the White Bear Lake school district.

Other innovations include ShelfSaver software – an integrated touchscreen and scale system that helps integrate information about pounds donated and received and makes the donation and pickup process easier for volunteers and clients. The food shelf also recently implemented a weekend food backpack program. Volunteers fill ordinary plastic grocery bags with noodles, fruit, snacks, juice boxes and other staples and deliver them on Fridays to more than 350 elementary and middle schools as well as to the food shelf at nearby Century College to keep our youngest community members fed over the weekend. “Our mission is to provide food and support for our neighbors in need,” Ann says. “We’re grateful that our community helps us do that.” Their website is


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