Grace Community Food Shelf

Grace Community Food Shelf Committed to the distribution of food to relieve hunger for familiies in need in Erskine, McIntosh, Winger, & Mentor. With kindness & confidentialiality.

Operating as usual

Made a special trip to North Country Food Bank yesterday (11/5) to pickup additional items. Brought back 1605 pounds of ...

Made a special trip to North Country Food Bank yesterday (11/5) to pickup additional items. Brought back 1605 pounds of food. Really a load for a 1/2 ton pickup, but it's a Ford so no problem! Thank you to Mic Evenson for coming in to help me unload, stock, and put away in storage. We have just a couple of weeks left in our Polk County COVID Mitigation Grant funds so we wanted to make the most of it. Regular truckk day is next Monday and we will really get a big load then. That's when all the produce, fozen meats, and dairy products will be delivered in addition to more boxes of canned and dryed goods. A speical thank you to the Church Council or Grace Lutheran Church for making additional temporary storage space available to us so we can stock up to carry us through a couple more months.


Since the COVID-19 pandemic started last March we have been very fortunate to have secured multiple state and local grants to help pay for the cost of the increased amount of food that we have been distributing. The purpose of these grants has been to make sure we reached out to all the people that may be in need in our area and to provide them with food to make it through these hard times.

We started out with a MN Hunger Solutions Grant (State of MN COVID Grant) and with a Feeding America Grant through the North Country Food Bank. We have expended both of these grants early on. Then we received another MN Hunger Solutions Grant (State of MN COVID Grant II) and a Polk County COVID Mitigation Grant from the county through the North Country Food Bank. We are still working within these two grants until the end of November at which point they will be terminated or expended as well.

Which brings us up to December and beyond. At this point we do not have any grant money on the horizon. We will be back to operating the Food Shelf from the money we bring in through donations from the surrounding area. So througout the holiday season please keep you local Food Shelf in mind. We really need and appreciate your financial support!

Tax deductable donations can be sent to: Grace Community Food Shelf, PO Box 204, Erskine, MN. You can also drop checks off at the American State Bank in Erskine and they will make sure they get to us. A pound of food through the North Country Food Bank has a cost to us of only $.35 cents so we really make you donation stretch.


Food Shelf planning for November is well underway! We will be open Thursday, November 12th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and we will have the Food Shelf open for shopping and be distributing NAPS boxes. Then we will be open again on Thursday, November 19th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM with shopping at the Food Shelf and NAPS box distribution. Then we finish out the month with the Thanksgiving Box pickup on Monday, November 23rd.


The Thanksgiving Food Basket invitations are in the mail!

If you have been utilizing the services of the Grace Community Food Shelf regulary the past several months you will be receiving an invitation to pick up your Thanksgiving Food Basket when they are distributed on Monday, November 23rd between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM.

The basket will contain a frozen turkey (between 14 and 22 pounds depending on family size), fresh potatoes, corn, stuffing, gravy, Jello, and pumpkin pie with Cool Whip for desert.

Baskets are by invitation only and if you receive one you need to RSVP (confirm you or some designated by you are picking it up). You can confirm by sending an e-mail to [email protected], or call 218-687-2250 and leave a message, or let us know when you stop by the Food Shelf to shop on either November 12th or 19th.


Wednesday, October 21st we will be conducting another "Farmers to Families" Food Box Distribution. (CFAP - Covid Food Assistance Program)

The distribution will take place beginning at 9:00 AM in the Northeast Corner of the Win-E-Mac School BUS PARKING LOT. Entrance will be through the Win-E-Mac school road and then down and around the football field. There will be people and signs along the route to direct you to the distribution point. (Please DO NOT go through the school parking lot!!)

We are bringing in 110 "Combination Boxes". In previous distributions we had three seperate boxes (meat, dairy, produce). This time the meat, dairy, and produce will be in ONE approximately 35 pound box. There will be a separate gallon of milk along with the box. Our plan is to give each car the option of one or two of the boxes so the minimum number of cars served will be 55 and it could be alot more depending on choices.

Each box will contain:
5 lbs. Potatoes
5 lbs. Apples
5 lbs. Onions
1 brick of Cheese
2 Family size containers of yogurt
1 lb. of Diced Chicken/Pork
1 or 2 packages of premium Hot Dogs
The box will come with a Full Gallon of Milk 1% or 2% but they are packed separately.

If you know of someone who could benefit from this food box please let them know. There are no income guidelines, no registration, no paperwork to complete, just show up and pickup the food.


October at the Grace Community Food Shelf

As the Covid pandemic continues to raise havoc with our lives the Grace Community Food Shelf is ready to provide food assistance for those in need for another month!

The Food Shelf will be open on October 8th and October 15th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

Due to our delivery schedule from the North Country Food Bank we WILL NOT have NAPS Boxes (Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors) on Thursday, October 8th so it will be imperative that eligible people pick up their NAPS box on Thursday, October 15thas this is the only day for pick up!

The Food Shelf will be open for shopping on both the 8th and the 15th. Due to the increase in supplies from the Dept. of Agriculture we will have a very good selection of all products and in particular of meat products for both days.

The Grace Community Food Shelf is the recipient of a Polk County CARES Covid Mitigation Grant through the North Country Food Bank. This grant will cover all our Food Bank expenses (an average of $600 per month) for September, October, and November. We are very thankful for receiving this grant as it will allow us to continue to keep our increased level of food distribution going to the end of the year. Over the last three months we have been averaging monthly distribution of 2,600 pounds. We have also been the recipient of a state Covid grant, now expended, that we used to purchase needed food items from local vendors.

At this point we have no information about a Covid Food Assistance Program (CFAP) distribution for the month of October. This could change quickly but at this time we do not have one scheduled.

The Advisory Board of the Food Shelf will meet on Wednesday, October 7th at 7:00 PM in the basement of the Grace Lutheran Church. One of the major items for the agenda will be finalizing the details for the Thanksgiving Food Boxes for distribution by invitation in November. Our Advisory Board meetings are open to the public (wearing a mask and with social distancing) and all people attending have a vote in our operation.

Today was Truck Day for the Food Shelf for September. Thank you to Mic, Gene, and Joette for hauling 1,800 pounds of foo...

Today was Truck Day for the Food Shelf for September. Thank you to Mic, Gene, and Joette for hauling 1,800 pounds of food in from the North County Food Bank Truck. Next comes checking it in and then the fun of finding places to put it on our shelves.

We brought in a very good selection of frozen meats (chicken, turkey,, and port). We also got in an excellent selection of produce (apples, oranges,potatoes, grapes, sweet potatoes). And this was all mixed with an excellent supply of dairy (colby jack blocks, shredded cheddar, shredded Mozarella, american cheese blocks, ) and fresh eggs.

In addition to the shippment from the North Country Food Bank we also hauled in and put away over 400 pounds of food that we purchased through Groceries Plus. (Thanks Jason).


Funding for the Food Shelf during this difficult Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge. Since March we have been fortunate enough to get a grant from the Feeding America group and also one through the State of Minnesota - Covid Food Assistance Grant. But these grants will now run out in September. We will once again be entirely dependent on local support to make the Food Shelf function. If you have contributed to the Food Shelf in the past please think about helping us again. If you have not contributed before this may be a good time to start. The needs brought on by Covid for nutrition challenged families has not ended but the funding has. Now we need your support.

Donations can be sent to Grace Community Food Shelf, PO Box 204, Erskine, MN 56535.


The volunteers at the Grace Community Food Shelf want to say a special THANK YOU to Jason Beckett and his staff at #GroceriesPlus in Erskine. Without his assistance and cooperation the Food Shelf would not be able to provide the level of assistance that we do to our patrons. We are very short on freezer space at the Food Shelf and Jason is right there to help us by providing freezer space for us to use at no charge to store our excess meat until the next Food Shelf day. We are forever in his debt.


August was a extraordinary month for the volunteers and for our patrons served! Through the regular Food Shelf shopping we were able to help 27 families with 2,744 pounds of food. Then through the Covid Food Assistance Program (CFAP) we were able to help an additional 60 families with an additional 3,870 pounds of food utilizing the "Farmers to Families" Dept. of Agriculture food boxes.

Grace Community Food Shelf's cover photo

Grace Community Food Shelf's cover photo

Photos from Grace Community Food Shelf's post

Photos from Grace Community Food Shelf's post

Grace Community Food Shelf's cover photo

Grace Community Food Shelf's cover photo





Farmer to Family Food Assistance

The first food box distribution event in the USDA Covid Food Assistance Program (CFAP) – Farmer to Family Food Assistance Program will take place on Monday, June 15th beginning at 8:30 AM at the Win-E-Mac School rear parking lot.

Grace Community Food Shelf in cooperation with the North Country Food Bank and the Win-E-Mac School will conduct the CFAP food box distribution in the rear parking lot of the Win-E-Mac School. Enter through the school’s main parking lot and then follow the traffic cones around to the back of the school to the distribution site. Distribution will begin at 8:30 AM and go until 11:30 AM or until supplies run out. Please form a single line as designated by the traffic cones.

The food assistance distribution will consist of prepackaged 10 pound boxes of protein (meat), 10 pound box of dairy (different cheeses), and 30 pound boxes of produce. There are no income requirements or other restrictions. There will be no registration or paperwork to complete. You will enter the parking lot, drive around to the rear of the school, open your trunk, and follow the cones to the distribution area. Pull up to the distribution canopy and our volunteers will place the food boxes in your vehicle. If you are in need of food assistance please take advantage of this program.

The regular Grace Community Food Shelf days are on Thursday, June 11th and Thursday, June 18th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Food Shelf. Regular USDA eligibility and income guidelines applie to the Food Shelf assistance program. You can take advantage of both the Farmer to Family Food Assistance and the Food Shelf Food Assistance programs if eligible. If you have been unemployed by the Covid-19 pandemic you may also qualify for the Food Shelf program.

For more information please go to the Grace Community Food Shelf page on Facebook, or call 218-687-2250 and hear details of the program and/or leave a number for a callback. You can also send your questions to [email protected].


New Food Assistance Program Available Soon

The US Department of Agriculture has announced the “Farmers to Family Food Box Program” as part of their Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Grace Community Food Shelf is partnering with the North Country Food Bank and the Win-E-Mac School to make this program available in our area.

In the CFAP program there will be three family friendly boxes of food made available to anyone in need of food assistance. There will be a 10 lb box of Protein (i.e. precooked chicken or pork), a 10 lb box of Dairy (i.e. cheeses and milk), and a 30 lb box of Produce (i.e. tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce). The size and the contents will vary during the life of the program from June through December.

There are no qualification guidelines for the program. This is a completely separate program from the normal Food Shelf Program and the distribution site will be at the Win-E-Mac School. People interested in receiving CFAP boxes will not complete any paperwork, provide any family information, or sign anything. The process will be to drive into the Win-E-Mac School to the distribution site and a Food Shelf Volunteer will place the CFAP box in the trunk. We are hoping for a “truck to trunk” transfer operation in which we distribute all our CFAP boxes in a couple of hours.

At this time we do not have definite distribution dates and time scheduled. When we have it that information will be coming out through the Erskine Echo, McIntosh Times, and our Food Shelf page “Grace Community Food Shelf”. If you are interested and would like to receive scheduling info directly by email please send you email address to [email protected] . We anticipate the first delivery to take place the week of June 8th. If you have any questions please email them to this email address or phone 218-687-2250 and leave a message.

Regular Food Shelf distribution dates for June are Thursday, June, 11th and Thursday June 18th. We will also have NAPS boxes for distribution on both days. Families in need of food assistance are encouraged to take part in both the CFAP and the Food Shelf programs.


The Grace Community Food Shelf is open on the 2nd and 3rd Thursdays of each month from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. However if a food emergency does arise we are here to help. If you or somone you know is experiencing a food emergency (not sure when or what the next meal will be) you can contact us for assistance.

Call 218-687-2250 and leave a message including your name and contact info. You can also e-mail us a [email protected] with this same information. We will be in contact with you to work out a solution to your problem.


We have completed the Food Shelf days for April with a very succesful month. We served 30 families a total of 2,100 pounds of food! One third of the families served were new families visiting the Food Shelf for the very first time which is exciting! The best part was that we did it all with our new Covid-19 protocol in place. Using the "shopping list" we were able to pull an average family's order in 10 minutes or less.

If you are a partron of the Grace Community Food Shelf and would like to speed up your next visit you can request a shopping list for the current day/month by sending an e-mail to [email protected] . The lists will be e-mailed out to you at least 2 days before the next shopping day. Then print out the list when you get it, make your selections, and bring it with you on Food Shelf day.


We are coming up on Food Shelf Days for April. We will be open on the 9th and the 17th. But we are going to have changes in the way we operate.

1. When you get to the Food Shelf PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR.

2. A staff member will come out to your car to get your name and get you on the schedule. They will also give you a "Shopping List" and a pencil to use to complete the list.

3. While sitting in your car go through the list and place a check mark/quantity by the items you want. On the left side of the shopping list you will find the quantities that you are able to get for each size of family. The quantities add up so a family of 6 gets the quantity in the first column PLUS the quantity in the 2nd column PLUS the quantity in the 3rd column. A family of 2 would get only the quantities in the first column.

4. When it is your turn a staff member will come to your car to get your completed shopping list. They will take the list to the staff in the food shelf who will pick the order and then a staff member will bring it out to your car. YOU WILL NOT COME INTO THE FOODSHELF!

5. When your food is brought out our staff member will put it in your trunk if you have it open. They WILL NOT PLACE BAGS IN THE CAR. If you want your bags in the car you will need to take them from the cart and put them in the car yourself.

6. There is nothing to sign and you will keep the pencil to use again next month.

We will use only new plastic bags for placing groceries in. We will not use bags that people have brought so that we can further decrease the chance of exposure.

You can drop an e-mail to [email protected] and ask for this months shopping list and one will be sent your way. If you could print it out and bring it with you that would help.

Thank you for doing your part to keep all of us a bit safer!


332 Vance Avenue
Erskine, MN

Opening Hours

Thursday 09:00 - 17:00


(218) 687-2250


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