We’re excited to announce that Woodland Hills has a new partnership with Open Cupboard, a non-profit that’s been providing emergency food in the East Metro for forty years. They run a free “store” called Today’s Harvest, which partners with farms and grocery stores to collect “rescue” food (food nearing its expiration date). This enables them to provide clients with fresh food, including meat, dairy, breads and produce.
The popularity of their free store approach has given them a good problem: the need to expand! Half of their clientele comes from Maplewood and East St Paul, so when they began to look at opportunities to partner with Woodland, it seemed like it could be a great fit. After many meetings and much discussion and prayer, we now have a lease agreement for Open Cupboard to run a Today’s Harvest location out of our North End.
It might seem odd to have a food shelf on each end of the building, but the beautiful thing is that each food shelf can offer something the other cannot. Today’s Harvest clients typically receive enough food for a day or two, but they can return as often as they like, up to six days a week. By contrast, at The Corner Shelf, we offer our clients mostly shelf-stable and ethnically diverse food, and folks typically receive enough food for a week. The types of food and the clients we serve are unique enough to make both food shelf teams excited about the possibility of serving alongside each other.
In January, Open Cupboard will begin improving and renovating the North Commons, and building out 10,000 square feet of our unfinished space. A special shoutout goes to Echo, who made this possible by giving up their meeting space in North Commons and shifting events to the Gathering Area. We are so grateful for their mindset that people are more important than buildings.
By early Spring we expect another 600 or so people coming to our campus for food Mondays through Saturdays. And in Greg’s words, “That, beloved sisters and brothers, is what a building, and a community, committed to the Kingdom ought to look like!”