White Bear Area Food Shelf and Mahtomedi Area Food Shelf: February 2021 Social Action Highlight


What is Food Insecurity?

People living in food-insecure households are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, at some time during the year, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food: 10.5 percent (13.7 million) of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2019. Food-insecure households include those with low food security and very low food security. (1)

The year 2020 was a devastating year for people experiencing food insecurity in the United States and around the world. Minnesota was no exception. There was a significant increase of first timers at Minnesota’s 350 food shelves, and many shelves saw double or triple the number of visitors than usual since March, 2020.(2)

White Bear Area Food Shelf

The White Bear Area Food Shelf programs are open to anyone in need of food regardless of geographic boundaries. Before the pandemic, this food shelf provided food and support to more than 1200 families per month. Since mid-March 2020 they have averaged close to 2000 families per month, an increase of 60 percent. This food shelf became a drive-thru pick-up service to keep the families and volunteers safer during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to their main location distribution, this food shelf distributes food to three senior facilities, holds free summer Farmers’ Markets that provide produce to more than 1700 families and provides weekend food for kids called KidPacks. The numbers for KidPacks increased from 1200 a month in March to 3000 a month since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Mahtomedi Area Food Shelf
Mahtomedi Area Food Shelf supports families in the Mahtomedi School District. This food shelf distributes food to close to 100 families per month and provides weekend backpacks of food for kids in the area who are provided meals at school but experience food insecurity on the weekends.

Why is it important to donate money to a food shelf?
For every dollar donated to a food shelf, the organization can purchase eight dollars of healthy food through the Food Bank system. Donating money is much more cost effective than donating food itself.


1 USDA: https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/interactive-charts-and-highlights/

2: https://www.startribune.com/more-minnesotans-visited-food-shelves-in-2020-than-any-year-on-record-and-the-need-is-expected-th/573456581/