By Jennifer Kotila
HOWARD LAKE, MN Rich Egeberg and Sara Lee, members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, have been working with Russ Irvin of the Cokato Food Shelf to start a food shelf for the residents of Howard Lake.
“I was out walking and praying this summer, and felt like the Lord laid this on my heart,” said Rich Egeberg, one of the people working to get the food shelf up and running.
Before this, St. John’s collected food to donate to the Waverly food shelf, where residents of Howard Lake could also receive food.
Now, residents of Howard Lake will be able to receive food from a food shelf in their own community, Egeberg said.
The Cokato Food Shelf has been established for many years, and it has generously agreed to share its resources to help the Howard Lake Food Shelf get up and running.
The vision is that, eventually, Howard Lake will have its own facility to store and distribute the food it collects for the food shelf, Egeberg said.
“Living in our midst are children and adults who are not getting enough to eat,” Egeberg said. “At any given time, any of us are vulnerable to illness, unemployment, and other misfortunes that could threaten our financial security.”
How will the food shelf work?
Any resident with a Howard Lake ZIP code (55349) will be eligible to receive help from the food shelf.
Howard Lake residents who need help should call the Cokato Food Shelf at (320) 286-2662 by Thursday at noon to apply by phone for help from the local food shelf.
Those in need are able to access the food shelf once per month, up to six times throughout the year.
Cokato will pack food for those who have called and applied for help, and Egeberg will deliver it to St. John’s in Howard Lake.
Pickup will be Saturday mornings, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., at the southeast entrance of St. John’s Lutheran Church, 625 12th Avenue, Howard Lake.
There will be a sign pointing people in the right direction, and someone will be there to assist people with their food pickup.
Along with receiving non-perishable items from the food shelf, those in need will also receive a coupon good at Howard Lake Foods for perishable items such as milk, meat, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
The coupon has to be used the same Saturday as the food is picked up.
“I’ve been blessed,” Egeberg said. “We all need help at times; that’s why I’m doing this.”
Those wishing to donate food or money for the Howard Lake Food Shelf should call (320) 286-2662.