Farmington Food Shelf

Ten Questions and Answers on the Farmington Food Shelf

1. What’s the current status of the proposal?

  • For the last few months, the church council has been in conversation with 360 Communities about the possibility of bringing the Farmington Food Shelf to our church. Food shelves tend to do better when they are in church settings. 
  • At the meeting on August 14th, the council voted unanimously to take this proposal to the next phase, which includes getting feedback from the congregation. 
  • At this point, the council intends to vote on the proposal at their September meeting. Should the council vote “yes,” then the Farmington Food Shelf would come under the auspices of the church in October, and then physically move to our building in January of 2019.

2. Aren’t we already short of space?

  • Yes. We would lose one classroom for the food shelf (the classroom in the SW corner of the education wing, the north side of that double room).
  • We would gain something, too. Not only would we be a service to the community… But when we talk in our education programs about being servants to others, the Sunday school teachers and youth leaders could talk about the very real way we are serving others right from our own facility.
  • We will find another place for the groups that meet in that room. We will also find another storage place for the supplies in that room.

3. What hours would it be open?

  • The hours would be up to us. But Monday and Thursday afternoons, noon to 6:00 pm are recommended. This is so that we are not open at the exact same time as other area food shelves.

4. How much would it cost us?

  • The Farmington Food Shelf is mostly self-contained. The Farmington community has been generous with donations, and so there would be little that the church would need to contribute financially. There are some costs in the transition, but existing food shelf funds can be used for the transition. 
  • We would need to purchase two laptop computers and a cell phone, but this would be paid for out of food shelf funds.
  • It is expected that we would bring over two commercial refrigerators and a freezer. We would not need to upgrade the existing electricity infrastructure unless we increased the number of commercial units.
  • There would be increased garbage, but we have spoken with our garbage company, and they expect that we will not need additional garbage pickups or larger containers.
  • We have spoken with our pest control vendor, and they believe we will not need to upgrade our current contract.
  • Shelving units and other equipment will not need to be purchased; they would be moved over from the current facility.
  • The accounting department of 360 Communities would manage all the financial aspects of the Food Shelf, and then send us monthly reports. 

5. What kind of volunteers would be needed?

  • Two lead volunteers. These people would be in charge of the day-to-day running of the food shelf. 
  • Regular food shelf volunteers, who assist clients as they get food, stock food, clean up, and do the appropriate reporting. Typically, about 75 hours’ worth of volunteer time are needed each week. 
  • The Community Outreach ministry team would be the overseer of the food shelf, working with policies and procedures. Volunteers are always appreciated!

6. What would be the role of 360 Communities?

  • 360 Communities is a non-profit organization that serves a variety of human service needs. They would be our partner in the operation of the food shelf. They are partners with other food shelf locations in Lakeville, Apple Valley, Burnsville, and Rosemount.
  • 360 Communities does intake for new volunteers, trains food shelf volunteers, holds regular food shelf meetings, and gives overarching policy and procedures. They partner with larger food organizations so that the food shelves can get substantial food discounts.  
  • With other nearby food shelves working with 360 Communities, we could share equipment and food as needed. 

7. What would be the role of FLC?

  • To provide some of the volunteers and to manage the day-to-day processes and clients.

8. Would there be any security issues?

  • This seems to not be a significant issue. In the last few years at the 360 Communities food shelves, there was only one interaction where police were called due to an angry client. 360 Communities staff handled the issue and forbade the individual from using that food shelf again.

9. Is the space at the church large enough?

  • The 360 Communities food shelves are all in spaces of different shapes and sizes. Some have considerably smaller areas than our potential space. 
  • Storage of food shouldn’t be a problem. Most food shelves try to keep the distribution of food going at the same rate as the incoming food, to eliminate waste. Several strategies are used to keep food moving.

10. How does this idea fit our mission?

  • In the conversations last year with congregational members, there was a significant interest in developing more service and service projects in the community. 
  • The strategic plan calls for developing inroads into the Farmington area, so that we can be servants to the community and its needs.
  • Many Old Testament verses exhort us to feed the hungry. In the New Testament, Jesus (Matthew 25) tells his disciples about the Last Day, when he will say, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in…” When His people asked, “When did we do this?” He replied, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me.” 

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Thank you!