Ralph Reeder Food Shelf

Incarnation partners with the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, a program of the Mounds View School District located in the Silver View Plaza Mall at 2544 Mounds View Blvd. (formerly County Highway 10) in Mounds View, MN 55112 (651-621-6280).

2021 Tons of Love, July 1 – August 1

Since 2013, Incarnation has engaged in an important summer campaign for the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf called Tons of Love which has always served as one of the ways Incarnation responds to the weighty issue of summer hunger. The 2021 Tons of Love campaign will be like so much else: a hybrid campaign with financial donations requested and a limited number of physical donations specially requested by the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf. 

You did something truly remarkable during the 2020 Tons of Love campaign when you donated over $53k! Can we raise the same amount or more, along with some physical donations this year? While weighing your summer priorities, we pray you will support Tons of Love with an online financial gift, by writing a check to Incarnation with “Tons of Love” in the memo or by purchasing from the list below of needed items that the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf has a difficult time sourcing at a discount.

Specific Physical Donations Requested During Tons of Love 

Weekly Donation Focuses: ideally, you’re asked to purchase and donate ONLY these items physical items during this year’s campaign: 

Week One: Summer Safety Items – sunscreen, kid friendly bug spray, band-aids, triple antibiotic cream. 

Week Two: Items for Global Cooking – rice, dried beans, canned tomatoes, fish sauce, enchilada sauce, soy sauce, hot sauce, rice noodles. 

Week Three: Household Essentials – laundry detergent, dish soap, all purpose cleaner, toilet paper. 

Week Four: Kid-friendly Meals and Snacks – granola bars, 100% juice boxes, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, mayonnaise,  mac and cheese cups, microwavable meals, pudding cups.

Week Five: Personal Care Items – deodorant, shampoo, feminine hygiene items, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bar soap or body wash, diapers sizes 5 and 6. 

Bring your physical donations to Incarnation and place in a food shelf bin from July 1 – August 1, any time the building is open.

2021 Tons of Love Volunteers 

Help the Tons of Love campaign go smoothly and fruitfully by bringing donations from Incarnation to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf on Mondays. Learn more and sign up here.

 What Will Your Financial Donation Buy?

Through suppliers that the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf utilizes, as much as 10 lbs. of certain items can be purchased for just a dollar. Other items might be closer to 30 lbs. for $10. What else might your money buy? 




  • $25 provides a holiday meal for a family of four with all the fixings. 
  • $40 feeds a family of four for a week.
  • $50 provides one student with a backpack and supplies to start the school year off right.
  • $75 ensures three children receive holiday gifts and stocking stuffers.
  • $100 sponsors a food insecure student with weekend snackpacks for each week of the school year.
  • $200 purchases a pallet of fresh produce.
  • $250 would provide a week’s worth of milk for 150 families.
  • $500 feeds 20 families for a week.
  • $750 provides hygiene and cleaning supplies for 125 families.
  • $1000 provides meat boxes for 150 families. 

COVID-19 Impacts to Ralph Reeder Food Shelf Clients

The Ralph Reeder Food Shelf provides food and household supplies for clients all year long, many of whom are families with school-aged children. With the arrival of COVID – 19, the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf is serving an average of 180 households/week, up 35% from pre-COVID-19 conditions. Of those being served, 54% are children 

COVID-19 will continue to impact the community in terms of need for resources and the way in which the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf provides food and household goods. 

  • The use of financial donations to purchase food in bulk through suppliers which is dollar for dollar, better than what most of us can offer when we shop as individuals.  
  • Bulk purchasing allows the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf to purchase exactly what they need while freeing up valuable time that might otherwise be spent date checking and sorting in kind food donations. 
  • Utilization of Ralph Reeder Food Shelf staff and a small number if volunteers to package and distribute food to clients in a no-touch fashion 

Tons of Love is one way we live into our calling as we respond to the larger world, needed even more than ever in these days. Our methods might look different but the mission we are called to, has not changed: Filled by God’s grace, we feed the hungry in heart, body, mind and spirit.  

Be a part of getting the most food and other supplies possible into the homes of as many people who need it this summer! 

Serving at the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf

Ralph Reeder Food continues to welcome back volunteers little by little. If you are interested in volunteering, review the safety guidelines below and complete the volunteer interest form found here. When there are volunteer opportunities available, you will be contacted with more information and instructions. COVID-19 volunteer safety guidelines will be outlined by the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf staff before you volunteer. Currently, most volunteer opportunities involve food rescue, picking up food from grocery stores and bringing it to the food shelf.

Food Distribution During COVID-19

The Ralph Reeder Food Shelf provides food and household supplies for clients all year long, and almost 2/3 of households served have school-aged children in the Mounds View Schools. While the pandemic continues to be a reality, the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf utilizes a no-touch system where clients are given a collection of food and household products, and have a small variety of items they may choose that are wheeled outside the food shelf building.

Based on the higher number of critical needs the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf sees, some clients visit the food shelf more than once a month. Additionally the food shelf is delivering food to over 200 households each month including homebound seniors, sick and at-risk individuals, families in quarantine, and families without transportation. Meeting the needs of their current clients, while being ready to serve record numbers of new families who have never used the food shelf before, takes time, donations and planning. 883 families visited the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf for the first time in 2020, a 45% increase over 2019.

Other Special Donation Opportunities for the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf

When COVID-19 is not a concern, there are typically a variety of special drives and giving opportunities in support of the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf including:

  • Holiday Food collections for Thanksgiving and Christmas in November and December.
  • Operation Christmas Joy collecting and distributing toys in December.
  • Statewide Minnesota FoodShare Month in March, which includes matching dollars.
  • Birthday Bags: cake mix, frosting, candles, paper plates/napkins/cups, decorations and a small toy or treat, all placed within a small gift bag (all year round).

And also when COVID-19 is not a concern, if you’re a Thrivent member, apply for a Thrivent Action Team grant of $250, gather some friends or family members together, and use your Action Team money to purchase some of the above items as a part of a team service project effort!

Questions about Incarnation’s partnership with the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf? Contact Becky Benson.