La Crescent Food Shelf

The La Crescent Food Shelf serves the needs of people in the Houston County area.


  • Wednesday: 2 - 5 PM
  • Second Saturday of each Month: 9 AM - 12PM

Program History

Our first food shelf was started by a La Crescent couple in the early 70’s as an effort to meet the needs of persons that had a limited ability to provide for their daily nutritional needs. The couple worked from their home distributing food to people that would stop by. Finally it became too much for the couple to handle and so the local clergy decided to move the shelf to the local City Water Works where there was a storage shed. This arrangement lasted for only a brief period of time due to the difficulty of managing distribution from that location. The shelf was moved to Prince of Peace Church in the ‘80s.

With a few food drives and the support of businesses the La Crescent Area Food Shelf was able to meet the basic needs of those that used it. People are able to use our shelf once a month and receive nutritionally balanced bags of food and at times some extras such as fresh produce from our community garden, farmers market and neighbors.

Volunteers began to label shelves and read codes to determine the age of the cans before the food was distributed. The volunteers packed the number of bags according to the size of the family being served and an effort was made to meet nutritional guide lines. Accessories such as soaps, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, Kleenex and toilet paper were also made available.

Our shelf serves all Houston county residents, though most of our clients live in La Crescent proper. In 1998 we served 300 people for the year; in 2012 we served 3000 people. About 40% of our clients are children. Currently 65 volunteers alternate over a 12 week period packing food for the people in need. Many of these same people as well as other volunteers come in to help sort, check dates and stack the shelves during the various food drives held in the community during the course of the year. Prince of Peace Lutheran Church staff members also helped during the course of the week by distributing food from the church office.

Our community continues to support our food shelf over the years as the needs in our community increase. Private donations, and donations made at area churches help support us. Local organizations such as Boy and Girl Scout groups, the American Legion, La Crescent Rotary, Lions Club, area churches, the Letter Carriers Drive, Halloween Trick or Treat for Food, the Holiday Train and the Rotary Lights are also significant contributors to keeping the shelf full. This is truly a community food shelf!

La Crescent Food Shelf News and Upcoming Events

We have moved from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, to the new HCP Center at 333 Main St., La Crescent. Our first day open at the new location was Monday, May 21st, 2018.

We have switched from offering pre-bagged food, to a client choice style. Clients will choose the food items that they prefer and can use, with some limits, so we can share with all who are in need.