Food is a basic human need, not just food but healthy food. Not everyone is the U.S. can go to a grocery store to purchase the all food they need. Some people must use food shelves to obtain the necessary food to survive. These food shelves provide a wide range of healthy food but selection from food shelf to food shelf can vary. A lot of times people who work 40 hours a week cannot afford to pay for groceries and food shelves are there to fill that need and help the community.
According to Hunger Solutions, in 2019 there were over 3 million food shelf visits in Minnesota. Different food shelves have different criteria that someone must meet to use their food shelf. A lot of times these criteria is put in place because food shelves do not have enough food to help everyone who comes seeking help.
Some food shelves have a larger and wide ranging selection than others. Some only allow people to go once a month, for example. There are over 400 food shelves in Minnesota but it can be difficult to find the one nearest to you. One of the most effective resources that people can use is the Hunger Solution website. They have information about food insecurity, and they have the "find help" option where people can look up where their nearest food shelf is.
Below are the steps of how to look for the nearest food shelf:
· Step 1: Go to the Hunger Solutions website by clicking the link below.
· Step 2: Click on the Find Help tab.
· Step 3: Enter your Zip Code and select Food Shelves.
· Step 4: A list of food shelves in your area will appear with their info about what kind of food they have, their hours, their eligibility, their address, and phone number.
This is a very accurate and easy tool to use. You should call ahead of time to confirm the hours, because due to Covid-19 a lot of food shelves have changed their hours. You can also chat with a Hunger Solutions representative online if you need help finding the right food shelf. On the website you can also look for places that offer free hot meals, senior resources, discount grocery, farmers markets as well as community food distributions. They even provide SNAP application assistance for those who are interested in applying for food benefits through their county.
As you can see, the process of finding a food shelf is simple and easy. While many people in our communities deal with food insecurity, we want to make sure that the knowledge and the tools to address these issues are present and available.