At our annual fundraising event, Keys to Success, our community will help to put a second mobile food shelf on the road.
Keystone, the largest provider of basic needs services in Ramsey County, helps address food insecurity in the metro by serving more than 26,000 people annually at two food shelf sites, free farmer’s market events, and through the organization’s mobile food shelf – Keystone’s Foodmobile.
Mary McKeown, President and CEO of Keystone, said the Foodmobile has been a vital resource for in reaching individuals within Keystone’s service area who struggle to access more traditional food shelf services.
“We know there are many low-income elderly people with transportation and mobility barriers, and low-income families and college students, who will benefit from expanded mobile food shelf services,” she said. “Every month, we have up to 29 distributions scheduled at community locations including senior high rises, colleges, faith communities and more.”
There is a waiting list for more Foodmobile distribution sites, according to McKeown.
In 2014, Keystone’s community of donors who attended the first Keys to Success event raised enough money to purchase and retrofit the organization’s first mobile food shelf truck.
“We need to do it again as the need for a mobile food shelf option has grown significantly. A larger Foodmobile will help support more families and seniors in Roseville and Saint Paul who have limited public transportation options,” said McKeown.
With two mobile food shelves, the organization will expand its impact in helping alleviate hunger in the east metro.
“Food insecurity can affect different people at different times in their lives,” explains Christine Pulver, Keystone’s Director of Basic Needs. “Our food shelves are available for our neighbors when an unexpected expense or health crisis hits.” Pulver said most participants only use the food shelf three to four times per year. “Using food shelf supports can often be the safety net that keeps a family or individual from needing extended intervention services.”
The North End food shelf on Rice Street is Keystone’s busiest site. The organization distributes 80,000 pounds of nutritious food to more than 3,000 people every month and provides emergency crisis assistance for families, seniors and individuals. Last year, through all food shelf services, Keystone distributed over 2.3 million pounds of food to neighbors in need in our community.
In May 2019, Keystone provided food shelf services to 8,792 households. The need currently outpaces the capacity of the organization’s single Foodmobile. However, with funds raised from this year’s event, a second larger mobile food shelf will soon hit the streets.