By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
The Morrison County Food Shelf, located on the west side of the Little Falls, is excited about its newest Christmas gift. Thanks to several generous donations, the building has a new addition. It will hold an 8-foot by 10-foot cooler, some donated upright freezers and more shelving.
“The Morrison County Food Shelf is currently full. There was no more room for storage,” said President of the Board Ron Hinnenkamp. “When large amounts of produce are donated, we had no way to keep it. In two to three days it has to be tossed.”
At times, Ruby’s Pantry gives the Food Shelf whatever it has left over and many times there is no room to store it. The cooler will be able to prolong the life of produce and the additional donated freezers will be able to hold frozen items that would have been turned down before.
The idea for an addition came about in May 2012 after an anonymous donor gave $25,000 to the Food Shelf.
“Other generous donations came in and the Board decided the best way to use the money was increasing the size of the current building,” said Roxie Matsen, chair of the building committee. “Other donations came in and with lots of volunteer help, the addition will hopefully be ready by the first of the year.”
The work began in September and Hinnenkamp said there were several trades people who donated their time and expertise to the addition, along with many volunteers. People showed up to help with sheet rock, insulation, painting and more.
The cooler arrived Tuesday and the flooring still needs to be tiled to meet state health requirements. When the addition is completed, the semi-loads of food from Second Harvest in St. Paul will be delivering there instead of through the front of the building.
“The Morrison County Food Shelf served 498 families, more than 1,500 people, in November,” said Hinnenkamp. “The addition will allow more food to be on hand for those in need in our community.”
The Morrison County Food Shelf is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – noon and Thursdays from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. For more information, call (320) 632-8304.