History of the La Crescent Food Shelf
Our first food shelf was started by a La Crescent couple in the early 1970s as an effort to meet the needs of people that had 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 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 food shelf was then moved to Prince of Peace Church in the 1980s.
With a few food drives and the support of businesses, the La Crescent Food Shelf was able to meet the basic needs of those that used it. People were 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 guidelines. Accessories such as soaps, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, Kleenex and toilet paper were also made available.
Our shelf serves all Houston county residents, though the majority of our clients live in La Crescent proper. In 1998 we served 300 people for the year; in 2012 we served 3000 people. In past years, 65 volunteers alternated over a 12 week period and packed food for the people in need. Many of these same people as well as other volunteers came 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.
Today at the La Crescent Food Shelf
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 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train and the Rotary Lights are also significant contributors to keeping the shelf full. This is truly a community food shelf!
436 South 6th St. La Crscent, MN
Wednesdays 1 - 5 PM
Thursdays 2 - 6 PM
2nd Saturday of the month
9 AM - Noon
Visit us today to access fresh and nutritious food for you and your loved ones.
Help is available for those who need it, no questions asked.
Together, we can make a difference!
We are so thankful for the support of Our Partners:
We are a partner agency of Channel One Food Bank, and receive food bi-monthly, including USDA Commodity Foods from The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to those who meet eligibility criteria.
We also receive rescue retail foods from area Kwik Trips through our partnership with Channel One.
We are a partner agency of The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse, receiving foods each week. This helps us round out our produce offerings and our rescue deli items, as well as dairy, meats and breads as available.