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Groveland Food Shelf
Groveland Food Shelf is a free food distribution program operated out of the basement of Plymouth Congregational Church near downtown Minneapolis. Groveland was established in 1974 by Plymouth, and Saint Mark’s became a full partner in the effort the following year.

While we have our own outreach ministries, we also believe strongly in partnering with other organizations in our community to better serve our neighbors in need. Groveland Food Shelf is one of the organizations with whom we have had long-term partnerships. Groveland serves as an emergency source of food for those living in the neighborhoods just south of the downtown area. Additionally, “Groveland Food for Youth” serves the vulnerable youth population throughout the Twin Cities. The congregations support Groveland through financial and food donations as well as providing volunteer help. 

The Groveland Board now includes representation from a variety of additional downtown churches and organizations, as well as Plymouth and Saint Mark’s. Saint Mark’s currently has two seats assigned to it on the Board. The Food Shelf operates five days per week, for about three hours each day, chiefly during the morning hours. Members of the Saint Mark’s congregation volunteer regularly at Groveland. Groveland serves substantial numbers of clients each month.

For almost 40 years Saint Markans have volunteered at Groveland Food Shelf. The work of volunteers has changed over time but their importance to the operation of the food shelf has not. We recently have been inviting more St. Markans to be involved since our ranks of participants have dwindled. We are committed to providing help each Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. But volunteers usually are only scheduled once a month. Presently we are two volunteers short and could use more for substitutes. If you have an interest but just not sure, please consider doing it one time to see how you like it. Groveland Food Shelf is a special place and is an obvious example of our ministry to the neighborhood.

Board Member: Heidi Haner

Treasurer: Rich Maier

Being a volunteer at the Groveland Food Shelf is enriching on so many levels. First, there’s the expected sorting and displaying of food items donated by individuals. However, the greater part of the work consists of breaking down large quantities of food which Groveland receives from the bigger suppliers to the food shelves such as Second Harvest or from stores who have desirable food with "best if used by" dates just occurring. These are then bagged in individual portions and placed on shelves or in bins. Dog and cat food (YES!), rice, flour, eggs whose dozens must be split into half dozens, sacks of potatoes and onions. Sweet rolls! Very popular! During the repetitive nature of these tasks on Saint Mark’s day, the first Tuesday of every month, we get to know the regular staff who work there, get a rhythm going, become part of the Groveland Food Shelf family. We become skilled at understanding and helping the clients, often regulars, and the camaraderie developed between the church volunteers and the regular staff is very warm. Best is knowing that you’re part of something that helps people. To say that this service is rewarding is an understatement! Volunteer Heidi Haner

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