Produce Distributions Provide Fresh Food for Those in Need
As the weather warms up and more produce becomes available from local growers, produce distributions are popping up all over the Twin Cities to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for our neighbors in need.
Through produce distributions, local food shelves are able to set up “pop-up” distributions to provide fresh produce directly to the people they serve. Similar to a mini farmers market, these “pop-ups” are set up at different sites around the Twin Cities. The Neighborhood House food shelf operates five produce distributions every month at four different locations in St. Paul during the summer.
“The extra produce our clients receive at produce distributions helps supplement the food they’re already getting from the food shelf. This is even more crucial during the summer months when kids aren’t in school and need to eat three meals a day at home,” says Christine Miller, food support manager at Neighborhood House.
Thomas, a produce distribution volunteer, says that “the reward of volunteering is when you help someone who really needs it and you can see their appreciation.”
This retired grandpa, originally from Washington D.C., says he had never seen or heard of produce distributions before coming to Minnesota.
“I came to Minnesota; I saw food distributions and I saw people helping other people. I just wanted to be a part of it. I just like seeing people and giving back,” says Thomas.
Diane, who visits the produce distribution at John A. Johnson Elementary School in St. Paul every month, says that the produce distributions help her get fruits and vegetables—an essential part of her diet as a diabetic.
“I don’t have to go to the store as often,” she says. “I’m glad that they have mostly fruits and veggies because that’s what I want and need.”