Tom Redman

Tom Redman, director of Chaska Parks and Recreation, chairs the Bountiful Basket board of directors.

There are many ways one can define the quality of a community. In Chaska we are fortunate to have a number of food-related programs that exist to help those individuals and families who want to live a healthier and happier lifestyle.

FARE FOR ALL

In early spring of this year, the city of Chaska and Bountiful Basket Food Shelf hosted a meeting at the Chaska Community Center to determine if there was sufficient interest to create a Fare for All serving Chaska and others from the Carver County area. From this meeting, Crown of Glory Lutheran Church graciously stepped forward to serve as the local site and coordinate the volunteers.

Fare for All is a once-a-month program where individuals can come to Crown of Glory to buy fresh fruit, vegetables, and frozen meat in bulk at up to a 40 percent discount. It is a great way to save money and the program is intended for everyone. Whether you are a coupon clipper or on a tight family food budget, you are welcome to visit and shop at Fare for All, which is community supported and open to all.

The more people that shop at Fare for All the better the program is.

Nearly 300 food packs have been purchased each month for May, June and July of this year at the church. The Crown of Glory site is the only Carver County site and is one of 30 locations presently in Minnesota. Future Fare for All purchase dates are Aug. 28, Sept. 25 and Oct. 23 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Due to the success of this program Crown of Glory is looking for more volunteers to assist on the day of the sale. To volunteer or to find out more about volunteering call Crown of Glory at (952) 448-3230.

NUTRITION

A new program for area men and women ages 60-plus started in Chaska on Aug. 15. The Nutritional Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS) is a program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and it is designed to provide healthy and nutritious food at no cost to eligible individuals.

The Chaska site is run through the Minnesota Department of Health and Second Harvest Heartland. To be eligible you must be a Minnesota resident at least 60 years of age, meet income guidelines, and sign up.

Once a month, program participants can come to The Lodge’s multipurpose room at the Chaska Community Center to pick up boxed food that includes canned fruit and vegetables, low-fat milk and cheese, canned meat, peanut butter, dry beans, cereal, rice and pasta.

The Chaska pick-up date each month at The Lodge is the second Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. For more information or to sign up for this “free food for seniors program” call Second Harvest Heartland at (651) 484-8241 or toll free at (800) 365-0270.

BOUNTIFUL BASKET

Due to the generosity of area residents, the Bountiful Basket Food Shelf of Eastern Carver County continues to be a success story. Over 1,200 individuals are served each month with over 26,000 pounds of food. Much of the food donated comes from area churches, schools, businesses, civic organizations, and families.

New this fall for Bountiful Basket is a “Food Rescue” program with Cub Food. This program in partnership with Second Harvest allows Bountiful Basket to be the sole benefactor of the Chaska Cub store food that cannot be sold, but is suitable to eat — including meat, produce, dry goods, and canned goods. This type of program with Cub and with other local grocery stores is essential to the continued success of any food shelf.

The Bountiful Basket is also working with the Carver County Health Department to encourage healthy eating choices for those who visit the food shelf. For more information on any of these programs call (952) 227-7745.

If you are aware of neighbors and friends that you feel would benefit from these programs please inform them of the opportunity. By all of us working together our community can become stronger and better for everyone.

Tom Redman is chair of the Bountiful Basket Food Shelf Board.

Events