Ralph Reeder Food Shelf moves

Solomon Gustavo • Ralph Reeder Food Shelf volunteers Carol Leighow, Mary Farquhar and Roger Fisher — all of Shoreview — took a break from stocking shelves July 16 at the new home of the food shelf on Mounds View Boulevard in Mounds View.

After years of using extra space at Pike Lake Kindergarten in New Brighton, Ralph Reeder Food Shelf has moved to a place of its own. 

Its new home as of July is a storefront in the Silver View Plaza strip mall located at 2544 Mounds View Boulevard. 

The food shelf, which started in the late 1970s and was named after the first superintendent of Mounds View Public Schools, is a school district program. It serves families within the district that also includes cities such as New Brighton, Shoreview, Arden Hills and Vadnais Heights. 

The number of families who use the shelf is increasing, said program manager Lisa Baker, who has been with the food shelf for 20 years. District enrollment is on the rise, and that’s what contributed to the food shelf moving from Pike Lake. The additional students meant the kindergarten didn’t have any extra space. 

Ralph Reeder served more than 800 households per month in 2017. Over the last year, the food shelf was visited by some 23,000 people, which translated to over 640,000 pounds of food distributed with the help 10,000-plus volunteer hours. 

The shelf is run by the efforts of Baker, one other staffer and all that volunteer muscle. Food at the shelf is donated, saved from being tossed out by grocery stores or purchased with monetary contributions. 

The food shelf, said Baker, offers food assistance to Mounds View Public Schools families, while also connecting them to other resources for basic needs like health insurance, signing up for food stamps and finding work. 

“We offer that sort of short-term case management,” said Baker, adding the shelf works as a bridge to permanent solutions for school district families looking for help. 

People seeking assistance are asked to call the food shelf at 651-621-6280 to make an appointment.

The shelf will host a community open house to celebrate the new storefront and raise awareness of the program on Tuesday, Aug. 21. A ribbon-cutting ceremony starts at 3 p.m. and food and refreshments will be served starting at 4 p.m.


— Solomon Gustavo

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