With 318 households depending on the Moose Lake Area Food Shelf, the need for food and monetary donations is great, said Rosanne Pliml, director of the food shelf, in a recent interview.
The food shelf is conducting its March Campaign, which continues until April 30, along with other food shelves in Minnesota.
"The Alan S. Feinstein Foundation gives a percentage of the funds raised in Minnesota during the March Campaign," said Pliml. "The more we get, the larger a percentage we will receive. This winter the need has been really great, with no relief in sight. People are dealing with high heating fuel prices and high food prices."
The Moose Lake Area Food Shelf serves people in southern Carlton County and northern Pine County. Last year, the food shelf served 3,824 individuals from 318 households. An average of 140 families came to the food shelf each month.
Monetary donations are used to purchase food from the Second Harvest Food Bank.
"We serve every age, including the elderly," said Pliml. "If they eat, they can come to the food shelf and get food once a month. No one goes away without food."
"People can always get food in an emergency," added Terry Vogel of the food shelf board. "We will serve them."
People no longer have to be referred to the food shelf by a professional, such as a doctor, as had been the case in the past.
However, the participants do need to show proof of residency and that they qualify.
The food shelf was started in 1987 by the ministerium, a group of clergy from the area. Since then, there have been faithful donors that contribute to the food shelf every month.
"A lot of older people on fixed incomes send a check to the food shelf every month," said Amy Olson. "People are so good."
"They are consistent and faithful," added Vogel. "It's amazing. It's humbling is what it is."
The food shelf is operated by a board of eight volunteers: Pliml, Vogel, Olson, Jim Sanders, Mary Lindgren, Chuck Eckman, Barbara Peck and John Mandernach.
Lindgren is the grant writer, said Pliml.
The Moose Lake Area Food Shelf is open on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. until noon. It is located in the alley behind Joe Jitters. Look for the white double doors.
Donations can be brought to the food shelf at that time or on Tuesday mornings from 9-11. Donations can also be brought to the area churches or MarketPlace Foods.
Checks can be made out to the Moose Lake Area Food Shelf and mailed to P.O. Box 128, Moose Lake, MN 55767.
Call (218) 382-0058 with questions or for more information.