The Ralph Reeder Food Shelf has recently made the move from New Brighton to Mounds View.
“We will certainly miss being in New Brighton,” said Ralph Reeder Program Manager Lisa Baker. “We are still servicing all residents in need and we hope that by having a bigger presence in Mounds View, that the people that need food the most will be able to find us.”
Previously located at the Pike Lake Kindergarten Center, the food shelf has now taken over the former Mr. Muscle Gym and Fitness space located at 2544 Mounds View Boulevard.
“Enrollment is up in our district and they needed our Pike Lake space for additional classrooms,” said Baker. “We are still a part of the district but now we are just in a leased space and not at a school site.”
With an additional 1,000 square feet, the new space is an upgrade for the nonprofit.
“The Pike Lake location was only about 4,000 square feet so this new space is much bigger,” said Baker. “We also now have a separate entrance for receiving donations with a large garage door in back. This kind of larger receiving area for donations will make it a lot easier for people dropping off donations and really allows us to be a little more efficient.”
However, a larger space reflects a higher cost.
“With this new space comes increased and unexpected expenses so our needs have certainly gone up as far as needing donations to continue to run our program as we have in the past,” said Baker. “Any additional help and support by the community is greatly appreciated and welcomed. We are always looking for new partners.”
Baker also said that the food shelf has experienced an increase in demand in 2017.
“We saw a 29 percent increase in 2017 over 2016,” said Baker. “We actually received the 2018 Hunger Hero Agency award by Second Harvest Heartland based on the amount of food and people we were serving.”
The food shelf provides over 600,000 pounds of food and personal care items to nearly 23,708 children, adults and seniors in the district annually.
“We are currently serving about 825 families every single month,” said Baker.
Although the new location is already open, Ralph Reeder will be hosting an open house celebration on Aug. 21 with a ribbon cutting ceremony taking place from 3-4 p.m. and a community social from 4-7 p.m.
“We really hope that everyone can make it out for the chance to see our new space,” said Baker. “We will have food, refreshments and kids activities going on.”
Baker also mentioned that July is the Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless Challenge Grant Campaign and all donations up to $6500 will be matched by Hunger Solutions and two generous community donors. Donations can be made online at www.ralphreederfoodshelf.org.
For more information about Ralph Reeder, vist www.moundsviewschools.org/Page/2990 or call 651-621-6282.