PROP entrance

The entrance of the PROP Food Shelf in Eden Prairie.

PROP Food Shelf is doing a $25,000 matching donation drive, according to a news release from the organization.

The matching opportunity came from a long-time donor, executive director Janet Palmer told Eden Prairie News in a phone interview. The nonprofit is juggling reduced volunteers due to social distancing and increased needs from people who have been laid off or are struggling during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

“We’re just really ramping up, not only for much more volume in people needing food but also financial support,” Palmer said.

During normal operation, 30 volunteers help PROP staff pass out food and sort donations. Now, there are between three and five on any given shift, Palmer said, and they’ve had to stop their food rescue program that picks up items from grocery stores because it’s too work-intensive. Instead, everyone gets pre-packed boxes with more nonperishable items.

“We lost all that nice fresh dairy, produce that we get daily,” Palmer said. “We can’t do the social distancing to manage that.”

PROP has been overwhelmed by support from the community even during such a difficult time, Palmer said. However, the donation drive is important now because fewer people are able to donate food due to social distancing, and PROP needs to prepare for the long-term impacts of the crisis.

“I think we’re in this for the long haul, looking at a recession. The cash we can use to buy food and help with other services,” she said. “It’s really tough times and we’re working every day, many hours.”

Donations to PROP will be matched by the anonymous donor and also eligible for matching through the Minnesota Food Share Campaign, the release says.

The website is PROP is at 14700 Martin Drive in Eden Prairie and serves families in Eden Prairie and Chanhassen.

Eden Teller is the multimedia reporter for Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about fostering productive conversations and empowering communities. When she's not reporting, she can be found reading a book, on a hike or tackling home improvement projects.