Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

After 20 years, food shelf director steps down


Lois E. Johnson

Roseanne Pliml has retired from being the director of the Moose Mart (Moose Lake's food shelf).

Roseanne Pliml misses the clients and other volunteers at the Moose Lake food shelf, now known as Moose Mart. She stepped down from her position as director of the food shelf late in May.

"I didn't think that I could physically do the director's job anymore," she said in a recent interview at the food shelf.

That was the end of a 20-year volunteer position.

"I started here just when the food shelf was moving into the current location," Pliml said. "I started by filling boxes, and then I went to filling shelves. I did that for years.

"After I had been here for seven years, they picked me to be the director. I had been here the longest."

Over the years, the space for the food shelf changed.

"We put up the wall to create another room and we painted the waiting room," she said. "Before we moved in here, the newspaper (Star-Gazette) used this space."

The Moose Mart is located just off of the alley in the lower level of the building that houses Joe Jitters and another office, where the Star-Gazette had been located for years.

Pliml appreciated her fellow volunteers.

"I can't believe the willingness of some of the volunteers," she said. "They always said 'yes' when I called. There isn't anyone that I haven't liked."

A board of nine people operated the food shelf when Pliml started as a volunteer. Now the number of people on the board is seven, she said.

"There have been changes," she added. "Big changes."

Donations of food and funds are taken on Tuesdays and the clients come for groceries on Fridays. But Pliml came to the food shelf more often.

"I liked to come here when it was empty and I would be alone," she said. "People would call me when they needed food in an emergency or when they were going to drop something off."

Pliml appreciated the faithful donors.

"People in this town are so generous," she said. "Some donors were on a fixed income but they were faithful to give a donation every month. I don't know how they did it. One fellow from the Cities gives an anonymous donation every month."

March was the month of the big food drive.

"The amount of donations that came in always surprised me," said Pliml. "All of those donations qualified us to get more food from Second Harvest."

It isn't just food donated, a church group from Kettle River donates handmade quilts.

"You'd be surprised to hear what all is donated," said Pliml.

Applying for grants was another of Pliml's duties.

"I would apply for small grants," she said. "We'd order groceries from the Second Harvest Food Bank and items left over from the distribution at Ruby's Pantry were brought here."

As director, Pliml would sit in the waiting room and talk with the clients who came in Friday mornings. Talking to the children was one of her favorite activities.

"I really enjoyed the children," she said. "Their eyes would light up when they saw me. They would run to me."

Pliml finds life is more quiet now that she has retired.

"It's hard to leave here," she said. "This was my baby."


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