City of Dassel to contribute $300 to monthly rent for one year
By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN Thanks to a $300 monthly contribution from the City of Dassel, the town is will have its very own food shelf.
The city council approved the one-year contribution that will help pay rent for a Dassel branch of the Meeker County Emergency Food Shelf.
“There is an incredible need,” said Mayor Mike Scanlon, who has been strongly in favor of the idea from the beginning stages.
With families currently experiencing tough times, Scanlon anticipates the coming year to be no exception, especially as people’s unemployment checks run out.
Also for families using the food shelf, transportation may be an issue. Having a food shelf in town would make it easier for those families, Scanlon said.
The Meeker County Emergency Food Shelf Board of Directors approved the location of the food shelf Friday which will be the east side of the Opsahl Plumbing and Heating building on Atlantic Avenue West in Dassel.
Meeker County Emergency Food Shelf Director Brenda Voigt attended Tuesday’s meeting, along with Dale Miller, president of the board of directors and Pastor Doug Pierce, treasurer of the board.
Larry Oberg, who has been instrumental and a big proponent of a Dassel food shelf, was also in attendance.
“We want to get this progressing,” Voigt said, following the meeting.
Voigt found this building to be a suitable location because there is a waiting room as well as a private room for conducting questionnaires for users of the food shelf.
“Privacy is very important,” Voigt said.
The food shelf is expected to open by mid-December.
As of Sept. 30, the Meeker County Emergency Food Shelf had 59 visits from District 3 which consists of Dassel, Collinwood, and Ellsworth townships and the City of Dassel.
In 2008, there was a total of 107 visits from that same district, according to Voigt.
The food shelf would be staffed by volunteers, and hours would depend on need and staffing abilities, Voigt said.
Donations typically come from individuals, churches, civic organizations, and schools.
“Our county is a very giving county,” Voigt said at the meeting.
The food shelf also purchases items from Second Harvest Heartland food bank of St. Paul.
There, it can purchase hamburger for 6 cents a pound, Voigt commented.
The food shelf provides 15 to 20 pounds of food per individual, per visit, or 60 pounds to a family of four, according to Voigt.
The Meeker County Food Shelf is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization.
If anyone is interested in volunteering their time by working at the food shelf, contact Voigt at (320) 693-7661.