In July, we took over full operation of our onsite food shelf, and it got a new name: “The Corner Shelf!” You can read more about the change here.
For us, running a food shelf isn’t just about the food—we love learning our neighbors’ names, celebrating their birthdays and building new connections.
We also want The Corner Shelf to be an example of God’s radical love, so we want to go above and beyond for our clients. To do that, we’ll be rolling out three new features in the coming weeks and months:
Right now our food boxes contain basic staples (oil, pasta, canned vegetables etc.) as well as whatever “rescue food” happens to come in that week. (“Rescue food” is what the industry calls miscellaneous leftover food donated from stores.) But this means that often people end up with food they do not want or are unable to eat. That’s not only wasteful, but we’d like our clients to have choices! To help make that happen, our next step will be to allow clients to make selections from a food list, so that they can bring home foods that fit the specific needs and preferences of their families.
Culturally Sensitive Food
We serve clients from a wide variety of backgrounds and it matters that we provide food that fits their heritage. We want to honor who they are and support their eating preferences.
We are planning to begin composting expired food, which will ensure any food waste is being put to good use!
Cool, right?! But right now we face two main obstacles:
Right now, we serve between 75 and 100 families every week, which is nearly double the amount from last year at this same time! This growing number has also coincided with higher food prices, and the end of COVID assistance grants, which means we need more money to make up the gap between supply and demand. While food prices may be unpredictable, we want to make sure our neighbors can count on us, even if that means we have to spend a bit more money on food. In addition, collecting culturally-sensitive food will require some special purchases outside of our traditional shopping.
To make these changes more feasible, we’ve realized that we need certain equipment, things like: a pallet jack, additional fridges, traffic cones and signs. And we will need funding for the composting process!
We are excited to get these in motion, and because of your help, we’ll be able to!
We made our goal!
Thanks to you, we’ve surpassed our goal of raising $25,000, with a total of $34,417! All extra funds raised will go to provide customized food and continued improvements. You can find more details about The Corner Shelf here, and information on how to volunteer here.
As Outreach Associate Pastor Paula Bowlby has said, “Bottom line, it is an honor to help our community. God moves and works at this curbside and I am thankful to be a part of it.”
Thank you for being a part of this, too!