March Food Drive
Hunger and food insecurity still plagues many people in our St. Paul communities. According Hunger Solutions Minnesota, the state’s 350 food shelves (which includes our two food markets in St. Paul) were to end this last year with 3.7 million visits, just below the 3.8 million record in 2020.
What does this mean? We are still seeing record numbers of need for food resources and support. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need and we are still seeing that impact on our community, making fundraising for March Food Drive just as important as last year and 2020 – record hitting years.
This year we’re seeing new obstacles that not only make it harder for the people that we serve currently, but also are making it difficult for more and more families in our community. Added costs and supply issues (especially for items like meat, fish and other staples) have continually increased. Making these items scarce or unavailable in our Food Markets.
Learn about hunger in Minnesota in our March Food Video:
It’s crucial that families be nourished with healthy. Will you join in our March Food Drive efforts to help fight hunger in St. Paul? Your support will provide healthy, fresh, and culturally-appropriate foods for our diverse group of participants who come from more than 40 countries. You will help people maintain their dignity and culture during a time that has challenged their finances, their hearts, and their dreams.
Make a gift today or start a fundraising drive to get your friends and family involved with this worthy cause, creating an even greater impact.
The need is now and the need will continue as our economy and community rebuilds and heals in the months and years to come.
No one should go hungry in St. Paul or anywhere. We can make a difference, let’s make sure that everyone in our community has enough food to eat. Join in our March Food Drive efforts to ensure families in St. Paul have access to free healthy and culturally-appropriate foods today and throughout the year.
Due to the challenges created by COVID-19, we ask that if you are able, to make a financial donation or create a monetary fundraiser in place of a physical food drive this year. If you are unable to contribute in this way and would prefer to hold a food drive, we will still accept those donations however. Please view our “lead a food drive” page to review our new process.
Thank you for your support.
QUESTIONS? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead a food drive
Thank you for hosting a food drive for March Food Drive! We are following a slightly different process this year due to COVID-19.
Running a food drive for Neighborhood House in 2022
1. Contact email@example.com if you have any questions and to let us know you’re planning a drive. When you let us know in advance, we can create space in our food market for your donations and prepare for a drop off date.
2. Limited food donation pickup is available upon request. We ask that requests be made at least one week in advance.
3. The simplest way to transport food donations is by organizing them into smaller bags and boxes. Try to evenly distribute the weight to ensure bags don’t rip and boxes don’t break. It also helps to drop off your collection once a week so that you don’t have to transport as much weight. Weekly drop-offs also ensure our food markets are consistently stocked through March.
4. Food donations can be dropped off at our Wellstone Center food market or at our Francis Basket food market. If your donation is larger than one car full, we ask that you drop it off at our Wellstone Center due to limited space and staff capacity at Francis Basket. Donations will be internally distributed between both locations.
Francis Basket drop-off times are Monday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If your schedule is flexible, Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. is the ideal time for drop-offs. Call 651-699-0986 when you arrive and someone will meet you to accept your donation.
Wellstone Center drop-off times are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If your schedule is flexible, 9 to 10 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m. are the ideal times for dropoff. Call 651-789-3630 when you arrive and someone will meet you to accept your donation.
Make your donation count
Did you know that food shelves must meet the same safety standards as a grocery store? Check out this flyer to make sure your shelf-stable, perishable, and fresh fruit and vegetable donations can be accepted by our food market.
Whether you have supported one of our food programs in the past, or want to join for the first time, we welcome you to engage with us as we make sure that everyone in our community has enough food to eat. Below are opportunities to volunteer with our food programs throughout March (and beyond)!
Wellstone & Francis Basket Food Markets
Come join the food markets during March Food Drive to help us accept, organize, and stock donations. We welcome you to join us short-term (1- 5 times during March Food Drive), or on an on-going basis (weekly / every other week)!
Wellstone Center | Monday – Friday
AM shift: 9 a.m. – noon | PM shift: 1 – 4 p.m.
Francis Basket | Monday (9 – 11:30 a.m.)
Tuesday and Friday | AM shift: 9 – 11:30 a.m. | PM shift: 1 – 3:30 p.m.
More information, including the link to the interest form , can be found here:
Food Market Volunteer – Interest Form
Kowalski’s on Grand Avenue Food Drive
We are again partnering with Kowalski’s on Grand Ave to host multiple on-site food drives. Shoppers will be invited to purchase items and donate on-site to Neighborhood House throughout the March Food Drive.
- greet customers and distribute our Food Wish List
- collect food items at our table
- collect financial donations
- transfer donations to our Neighborhood House van
More information, including the link to sign-up for a volunteer shift, can be found here:
Kowalski’s Food Drive Volunteer – Sign-Up
Drive and Fundraising Resources
Tips for your food drive!
Set a goal: Aim to fill a box each week at home or create a monetary goal amongst friends and family—a fun activity during COVID. If you participated in the past, set a goal to beat your record by collecting the new items on our wish list.
Make it fun: Set up a weekly video call with your team to check in on your progress toward your goal. Split into separate teams and compete virtually. Set up a prize for the team that collects the most at the end of March Food Drive.
Spread the word: Use social media and email to share about your drive!
Prepare for monetary gifts: Create a virtual fundraiser for a fun and safe way to engage your friends and family in your March Food Drive efforts. Monetary gifts can increase your impact by allowing us to purchase more food. For your convenience stay safe at home and make a monetary gift!
Collect bags: Collect paper bags with handles—the food markets go through roughly 120 per day!
Packing it up: You can now drop off donations in a safe, contactless way. Staff are happy to help you unload your vehicle while you wait in your car. We can also give you a receipt for your records. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your drop-off time.
Celebrate your success with a virtual party!
Win prizes when you create a peer to peer fundraiser!
For March Food Drive this year Neighborhood House is running a fundraising sweepstakes! When you start a team or individual fundraiser at HERE, you will be automatically entered to win fun prizes like Neighborhood House swag! And you’ll also be supporting your neighbors in St. Paul to receive the food they so desperately need.
Setting up a fundraiser is simple and Neighborhood House will keep track of how many tickets your fundraiser qualifies for. A drawing will be done at the end of the campaign (after April 10) and winners will be contacted.