The Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf was founded three decades ago, initially serving just five families.
It now provides food for 90 families a week.
Still, it would be better if the need didn’t exist, said Cindy Klatt, a member of the Christian Cupboard Board.
“We don’t want to grow, obviously,” she said. “We’d rather be out of business.”
The Christian Cupboard—founded by 13 local churches and late Woodbury resident Dick Wolff and his wife Sharron—will hold a 30th anniversary gala at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at Guardian Angels Church in Oakdale.
Dinner will be catered by the Lake Elmo Inn, and the program will honor founders and feature a video. Tickets cost $75 and table sponsorships are available for $500 (table of eight).
Registration information will soon be available on the organization’s website and through area churches.
Klatt volunteers each Friday at the Christian Cupboard, located at Woodbury Lutheran Church, and noted a number of recent changes at the Christian Cupboard, including:
- hiring a new executive director, Kristen Kinney;
- going to a “choice model” with a personal shopper for clients instead of pre-packaged bags; and
- the addition of a cooler and freezer.
Klatt provided Patch with a rundown of the organization’s history and its service to the community.
The Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf was founded in May of 1983 by a small group of individuals who could see that there were temporarily unemployed and underemployed families living in Washington County who were in need, and falling through the cracks of available government services.
The founding group believed at the time that the food shelf would exist to address a temporary need caused by a then-faltering economy, and would cease to be necessary within a year or two. During its first year, it averaged five families a week. As time went on, however, the need grew, and the food shelf has stayed open.
In 2010, the food shelf served an average of 90 to 110 families each week. In 2010, the Christian Cupboard distributed a total of 400,000 pounds of food.
The Christian Cupboard’s service area includes: Woodbury, Landfall, Oakdale and South Maplewood.
Area churches that sponsor the Christian Cupboard include: St. Ambrose Church, Guardian Angels Church, Woodbury Lutheran Church, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Woodbury Baptist Church, Woodbury Methodist Church, Five Oaks Church, Woodbury Community Church, and King of Kings Lutheran Church.
Programs and Program Activities
The Christian Cupboard operates out of the basement of Woodbury Lutheran Church, located at 7380 Afton Road, in Woodbury.
The food shelf is open to the public:
- Mondays, noon to 4 p.m.
- Thursdays 5-7 p.m.
- Fridays 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The food shelf provides the following services.
Emergency Food Assistance
Families in need can receive 5-7 bags of groceries plus personal care items, such as shampoo, toilet paper, and soap.
Referral to Outside Agencies
When food shelf staff are unable to meet an urgent or ongoing need, they refer clients to partnering agencies. These agencies include The Salvation Army and The St. Paul Foundation.
Individuals seeking employment are also referred to staff at the Minnesota Workforce Center, with whom the food shelf has a strong relationship.
Food Shelf clients can sign up for the ingredients for traditional holiday meals, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
Often, in lieu of ingredients, families are provided with gift cards to local grocery stores so that they can cook their own family recipes.
Food shelf clients can sign their children up to receive gifts at Christmastime. Typically the food shelf provides four gifts per child, ages birth to 18.
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