Over the past many months the Bountiful Basket Food Shelf of Eastern Carver County has expanded its basic food offerings to help those clients that make monthly food shelf visits, in addition to creating a “mobile food program,” to assist those individuals who are unable to pick up food at our building.

Due to the generosity of individuals, churches, businesses and civic organizations in the Carver, Chanhassen, Chaska and Victoria area that have donated food and money over the past few years, the Bountiful Basket has recently been able to reach out to more people who are in need of food assistance. These nonprofit programs that the Bountiful Basket now accommodates on a regular basis include:

Families Moving Forward: The Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church serves as the local site where food items such as sandwiches, fruit, produce, bread and other items are provided on a weekly basis to help homeless families.

Launch Ministry: Every other week the food shelf provides snack bars, noodles, canned meals, mac and cheese, and single serve items in addition to beverages and personal care products as available and needed.

The Gathering Place: St. John’s Lutheran Church in Chaska accesses food as available each week for its Monday evening 6:30 p.m. free meal and fellowship program offered at its school located on Fourth Street.

New Beginnings: This alternative educational program for pregnant and parenting teens has food delivered each week where students are taught to cook healthy meals and snacks, in addition to being provided take-home food product as needed.

SouthWest Metro Intermediate District 288: This school partnership serves 12 area school districts with the Bountiful Basket, delivering food starting this school year to help any student that may have a food need within their family unit.

Talheim Apartments: The Bountiful Basket delivers food once a month to 26 Talheim elderly residents that are lacking transportation and unable to pick up meat, vegetables, fruit, and soup for themselves.

Hope House: Food assistance is given to assist in their efforts to provide a safe and supportive environment for area youth who are in crisis.

His House: Is Provided bread on a regular basis to assist in its food recovery efforts that feeds individuals and families in need in the Eastern Carver County area.

Waybury: Starting this November in partnership with the Carver County Community Development Agency, the food shelf will be providing a food delivery program to those individuals who are in need of basic food provisions.

Each month the Bountiful Basket Food Shelf distributes over 15 tons of food serving over 1,200 individuals. The food shelf has no paid staff, with all daily operations made possible by dedicated volunteers who pick up and store food, serve clients and deliver food as necessary.

Much of the food product utilized for these partnership programs comes free courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as administered by Second Harvest. Other mainstay food sources include area churches and food rescue programs with area businesses, including Chaska Target, Cub and Cooper's as well as Chanhassen Lunds & Byerlys.

Volunteer service opportunities and donations are welcome at the Bountiful Basket, as well as at all of the nonprofits noted in this article, most of which can be easily found via websites.

Thank you for caring and helping to build a better community for all!

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

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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