Panel on Minneapolis Food Shelves: Our church helped found the food shelf housed in our lower level at One Groveland, which serves a vital need in our neighborhood. Yet our efforts are just one among many other food shelves, all trying to help struggling Minneapolis residents maintain healthy diets. This panel will help us understand some of the successes and challenges these organizations face.
Dave Enghusen directs the Groveland Foodshelf. The two programs, the Groveland Food Shelf and Groveland Food for Youth, distribute about 40,000 pounds of food each month to some 2,000 clients.
Ethan Neal, Food systems manager, Pillsbury United Communities, manages two food shelves serving nearly 9,000 families in the Phillips and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods. In addition, Pillsbury serves about 250 people free lunch and dinner in South and North Minneapolis daily. He also manages an urban agriculture project to provide the healthy food they are cooking and giving to the community. Pillsbury gives out hundreds of thousands of pounds of produce every year and also has a goal of growing 40 percent of the food served in the meals.
Fartun Weli is the founder and executive director of Isuroon, a nonprofit with a mission to help Somali women build self-sufficiency and maintain healthy lives. Isuroon is committed to improving the health and upward mobility of Somali women in Minnesota, the United States and Somalia and promotes health and empowerment for Somali women through health education, communication and advocacy to create policy change. In Somali, “Isuroon” means an independent woman who can take care of herself and her family. Isuroon provides food pantry items to those who seek out their other refugee services, including leadership training and legal aid.
Denise Bevins took over management of the Horizons Unlimited Foodshelf at the Division of Indian Work this year. They are open three days a week and serve 200 to 280 customers per month. Getting more funding would improve the foodshelf’s operations. Improvements already underway include more baby supplies and healthy food offerings.