A transition in our food shelf programs
At Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, we are proud of our meal programs, serving more than 1.1 million meals in 2012. In fact, Catholic Charities is the largest single provider of meals for the homeless in the metro area, meeting approximately 20% of the need in our community.
Through our strategic positioning analysis, Catholic Charities has come to the realization that although we are a large player in the meals program (fully prepared and served meals), we are a very small player in food shelf services; providing less than 3% of services in the metro area. We also realize that our core clients are people who are experiencing homelessness and do not have kitchens or the resources needed to make use of the food shelf products.
There are many established agencies in the metro area that have greater capacity to serve those who access our existing food shelves at Branch 1 and the Dorothy Day Center. Therefore, Catholic Charities has decided to transition out of our two small food shelf programs at these locations. This transition will allow us to focus on better serving our clients through our meals programs, and to make strategic investments to grow other critical services.
The last day of operations for both the Branch I Food Shelf and the Dorothy Day Center Food Emergency Food Shelf will be July 31st, 2013. The Catholic Charities staff has done an excellent job in informing clients of our closings and provided each household with referral information to food shelves closest to their homes.
In Minneapolis, Wait House and Community Emergency Services are prepared to handle an increase in clients, while Second Harvest is prepared to provide additional fresh produce as needed. In Saint Paul clients have been referred to the Salvation Army West, Salvation Army East, Keystone/Rice Street, Neighborhood House and Merrick/Hudson Road. A notice of area food shelves will be posted at both locations for one month post closing. At this time there are no plans for the Branch I site; ongoing discussions are taking place with White Earth and potential renters for the space.
Catholic Charities is grateful for the support we have received for our food shelf program over the years. We are confident that our community will continue to support Catholic Charities meals programs, which will continue to serve thousands of individuals and families each year. We will still rely on help from volunteers and donors in preparing and serving meals at the Dorothy Day Center, the Family Service Center, and the Opportunity Center. Meal service will also continue at the Glenwood campus serving Higher Ground, Glenwood and Evergreen, as well at St. Joseph's Home for Children, Hope Street, Northside Child Development Center, and St. Anthony.
Catholic Charities' commitment to feeding the hungry remains steadfast. In 2013, Catholic Charities will serve more than 1 million meals through our meals program - a critically important service we will continue to provide to our clients.
If you have any questions about this transition, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-204-8500.
Mary Ann Sullivan, Vice President of Program Operations
Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis