The White Bear Area Food Shelf (WBAFS) has served as a critical resource for families struggling with food insecurity since 1977. Over the past four decades, we have grown and improved our traditional food shelf programming in addition to creating new and innovative services to better meet the needs of our neighbors. On average, over 1,200 families receive food and support from the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf each month.
Since March 16, 2020, the White Bear Area Food Shelf continued to adapt to meet the needs of our community.
- Through October 2020 we have seen 2,016 visits per month, up 714 people compared to the same time in 2019, a 55% increase in neighbors served.
- A recent survey of those who visited the Food Shelf tells us that 68% of households depend on the Food Shelf to provide half or more of their monthly groceries. One volunteer, who recently picked up food for a family in Hugo, says "Thank you for being here at this time. When I drop off food for the family, they are so thankful and grateful! The kids are so excited they start jumping up and down when they see all of the wonderful things in the bags!"
- Our reach extends beyond our physical site to areas in our community needing food support: mobile markets at senior facilities and Century College, KidPacks to elementary and secondary students in WBL schools, and fresh summer produce distribution through Free Farmers Markets
“This place is proof positive of how neighbors look out for and support their community; whether you volunteer, donate, or have hit a rough patch in life...there's a place for everyone here." – a neighbor