by Dennis Dalman
The St. Joseph Community Food Shelf now has a nice new home in the St. Joseph Community Center, which is where the “old” Kennedy Elementary School used to be.
Longtime food shelf coordinator Ann Scherer is thrilled.
“The food shelf used to be in the old police station, and it was so gloomy in there with hardly any light,” said Scherer, although she added she and volunteers were grateful to have that site for so long, gloomy or not.
The new place is bigger, brighter.
“It’s so much better,” she said. “So much brighter and more airy. And there is no rent to pay whatsoever. This community is doing a wonderful job of supporting the food shelf.”
Currently, the St. Joseph Community Food Shelf provides food to 117 St. Joseph families, Scherer noted.
The food shelf started about 40 years ago by a priest of the St. Joseph Catholic Church. Scherer has been the food shelf coordinator for the past 20 years.
Local generosity and volunteers, she said, is what makes it all possible. There are frequent donations of food from Coborn’s and Cash Wise stores, from individuals, from churches, from the Norm Skalicky matching grant fund and from so many service organizations and groups of people who hold food-raising drives. The generosity comes in the form of food and money to buy food. The St. Joseph Community Food Shelf, Scherer said, does not rely on federal or state assistance to access food.
The new food-shelf headquarters is within the former elementary school behind the new St. Joseph Community Center, at 124 First Ave. SE. It has its own entrance right off the school parking lot area behind the government center.
Shelving was salvaged from the previous locale, and more shelving was purchased from the Herberger’s store in St. Cloud after it closed. St. Joseph Boy Scouts helped do all the moving to the new place.
Food shelf hours are from 1-3 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays. Those who need food assistance should just show up on one of those days and fill out an application.