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). Read this October Newsletter for the latest information on how our neighbors are being served by the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf.

Serving at the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf During COVID-19 (updated 10/7/20)

A couple service opportunities are now available! If you are interested in volunteering, review the details below carefully including the safety guidelines and email Sue Peake with your interest. She will let you know if you have been assigned to the position and will provide more information and instructions.

Back-Up Food Rescue Drivers

Fill in for a regular volunteer when they are unavailable, by picking up donations of food at Kowalski’s in Shoreview, Trader Joe’s in Shoreview , Cub Foods in Arden Hills or Cub Foods in New Brighton, and deliver to food shelf – just drop and go! You must have the ability to lift up to 25 pounds and have a larger vehicle or SUV which will accommodate 15 bags or boxes of donations.

Special Event Food Packing

Pack food into containers for single, special events such as Thanksgiving dinners or Christmas holiday baking.

COVID-19 Volunteer Safety Guidelines: All volunteers are required to adhere to the following guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone:

  • If you are not feeling well  (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, etc), please stay home and seek medical treatment.
  • If you recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19, you’re asked to wait 14 days since exposure to volunteer.
  • Per CDC guidelines, it’s recommended that volunteers 65 years and older be extra diligent about staying home during the pandemic, but it’s trusted that people will make the decision that is best for them.
  • If you have traveled on an airplane within the last 14 days, you’re asked to wait 14 days to volunteer.
  • If you have been in a group of 10 or more people indoors, you’re asked to wait 14 days to volunteer.
  • When you arrive to volunteer you will be asked to wear a disposable or cloth mask and maintain 6 feet social distance at all times. (You may wear your own mask. The Ralph Reeder Food Shelf also has disposable masks, gloves and hand sanitizer).
  • Please arrive at your assigned time and no earlier. Please leave promptly when your shift has finished.

Donations for the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf (updated 10/28/20)

Financial Donations

Knowing that hunger continues to be an issue for our local community, your financial contributions continue to be important. Make an online financial gift through Incarnation, write a check to Incarnation with “Ralph Reeder Food Shelf” in the memo, sending it to 4880 Hodgson Road, Shoreview or donate directly to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf. Bell Lumber and Pole New Brighton has issued their largest matching challenge grant ever -$30,000 for any NEW donations made directly to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf by first time givers, increased donations by repeat donors over last year, or lapsed donors who make a donation- dollar for dollar from now through Dec. 14 !

Physical Donations

If you have physical items you’d like to donate to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, bring them directly to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf  at 2544 Mounds View Blvd., any weekday Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Donation bins are located in the rear of the building where you may drop your donations. Incarnation is not accepting physical donations for the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf at this time; please do not leave any physical donations outside or within the Incarnation building. Thank you.  

 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. 

2020 Tons of Love: $53,500 Raised!

Since 2013, Incarnation has engaged in an important summer campaign for the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf called Tons of Love, and 2020 will be no exception! Tons of Love has always been Incarnation’s loving response to the weighty issue of summer hunger in our community, and now more people are hungry due to COVID-19. 

A modest goal of raising $15,000 was set for this year’s Tons of Love financial campaign and donations you made from June 1 through July 31 reached an astounding total of $53,500 by well over 200 donors! Well done, faithful community; thank you for your generosity which will alleviate suffering for those who struggle with food insecurity! Imagine how many of God’s children in our area were  fed with your gifts!

“Unbelievable response and generosity by so many people. We can’t thank you enough for your long term commitment to our mission and your trust in our process which allows us to continue to flex, pivot  and most importantly, prepare to meet the ever changing needs and demographics in our neighborhoods, schools and cities. We appreciate all of you who worked so hard to create this unique virtual drive during the covid epidemic…Congrats on a VERY successful Tons of Love 2020 fundraiser!” – Lisa Baker, Basic Needs Manager of the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf

Food Distribution During COVID-19

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, and 54% of the total people served are children. A no-touch system is being used as clients are given a collection of food and household products vs. a previous model of “shopping” for items. 

Based on the higher number of critical needs they see many of their clients, clients may now 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 (nearly 700 since the pandemic started) takes time, donations and planning.

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.

 

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