The Community Food Shelf at First Lutheran began as an emergency food shelf many years ago but after being made aware of a need in the Aitkin community that wasn’t being met, we developed into a regular food shelf in May of 2002. We are dedicated to providing supplemental food to those in need, without any special referral. We are an “open shelf” pantry which means the food shelf clients choose what items they receive.
Due to our affiliation with the Second Harvest Food Bank we are able to purchase food at a fraction of the usual cost. Also, because all of our workers are volunteers and our space and utilities are donated by First Lutheran, every dollar raised goes to purchase items for the food shelf only.
This food shelf has grown to be more than just a ministry of First Lutheran. We are now affiliated with other area churches who are giving both their financial and volunteer support to this endeavor. We also depend on the generosity of other organizations and individuals to meet the growing needs of the community members that we serve.
Information from 2010 End of Year Report:
Not unexpectedly, we served more clients this past year than in any year since we have been open as the “Community Food Shelf”. As to statistics, we had over 2490 visits from families in need and served over 70,000 lbs of food and related household items in 2010. In 2011, we are averaging about 7-8 new families each month who have never had to use a food shelf in the past. These are people who usually are helping others rather than being helped. As I have stated before, no one knows what tomorrow brings and any one of us could be in the same position.
Our goal is to not only to provide food to the people who come to us but also to provide them with compassion, kindness and the knowledge that there are people who care for them.
“For I was hungry, and you fed me…” Matthew 25:35