As hunger crisis grows, Every Meal (Sheridan Story) gets creative with its meal distribution across the state

Parts of article taken from Star Tribune’s article by Kelly Smith

From fire halls to fitness centers and libraries, some 60 community buildings (mostly in the metro) have turned into free food pickup sites for Every Meal, formerly known as the Sheridan Story, a Roseville-based nonprofit that helps a growing number of hungry Minnesotans. (SOTV has partnered with this organization for years.)

As Minnesota’s hunger crisis worsens during the coronavirus pandemic, Every Meal launched the new winter meal program, expanding its reach beyond its usual work providing students with food after school and on weekends. The new program, Rob Williams – executive director of the nonprofit said, gives residents another option for help.

“Food insecurity is not a supply problem, it’s a distribution problem,” Williams said. “The key is getting the food out there where it’s comfortable and safe and nearby for families to access.”

Some residents may fear the stigma of showing up to a formal social services organization, so receiving food at a rec center or fire station may feel less formal or bring more anonymity. City buildings are usually trusted institutions in a community and it’s a discreet way to get help almost anytime, added Brooklyn Center Fire Chief Todd Berg.

“People feel welcome in a fire station,” Berg said. With fire departments in every community, “it’s brilliant. It’s a good way to help the community. I see this morphing into something bigger.”

“It takes the whole community to work against such a big issue like child hunger,” Williams said. Click here to check volunteer needs: