White Bear Area Food Shelf and Mahtomedi Area Food Shelf: 2020 October Social Action Highlight


What is Food Insecurity?

Food secure households have access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members: 89.5 percent (116.0 million) of U.S. households were food secure throughout 2019.(1)

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.(2)

Current state of hunger
According to Associated Press, June 24, 2020, more Minnesota residents will lack access to sufficient food in coming months in wake of a disrupted economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.(3)

Food assistance needs will peak in September 2020 to 735,000 Minnesota residents who are “food insecure,” according to projections released by Second Harvest Heartland and consulting firm McKinsey & Co. That number reflects 13% of the state’s population and 130,000 more people than after the 2008 recession, the Star Tribune reported. (4)

Minnesota residents will lack access to sufficient food in coming months in wake of a disrupted economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. (5)

There has been an increase of first timers at Minnesota’s 350 food shelves, and many have seen double or triple the number of visitors than usual since March. (6)

Before the pandemic outbreak, 1 in 11 Minnesota residents struggled to afford food. It’s projected that 1 in 8 residents will struggle in the months ahead. (7)

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. These services became drive-thru services to keep the families and volunteers safer. In addition to their main location distribution, this food shelf distributes food to three senior facilities, held free summer Farmers’ Markets that provided produce to more than 1700 families and provides weekend food for kids called KidPacks. The numbers for KidPacks went 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 those families in the Mahtomedi School District and is located at St. Jude of the Lake Catholic Church. 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.


1,2 USDA: https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/interactive-charts-and-highlights/

3-7 US News & World Report:  https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/minnesota/articles/2020-06-24/data-minnesota-will-see-increase-in-food-insecurity