First distribution is Aug. 9
By Megan Hopps
SUN PRESS Newspapers
CROSS is launching a new mobile food shelf to drop off in Dayton. The non-profit will distribute a wide variety of groceries, paper products and personal hygiene items the second Tuesday of each month. The first drop-off will be Tuesday, Aug. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dayton Activity Center, 18461 Dayton Street.
CROSS serves families and individuals living in Rogers, Maple Grove, Osseo, west Champlin, Corcoran, and Dayton. The organization was established in 1977 to provide food and clothing to those in temporary need. CROSS is supported by community donations.
“This all got started because of a grant that we received last year,” said Stephanie Lehman. “Hunger Solutions attained a large state grant for mobile distributions and in turn organizations like CROSS requested grants from them. We received $38,000 and are applying for another $37,000 to help with mobile distribution sites such as in Dayton and other areas as well. Additionally, Northwood Church in Maple Grove supported the project and donated approximately $32,000 to the cause.”
Because of the grant and generous local support, CROSS was able to purchase a 26’ refrigerated truck to transport groceries to those in need in the area.
“We provide assistance to families across 226 sq. miles,” Lehman said. “Public transportation covers 15 percent of that. We know that transportation is an obstacle for families and individuals seeking our help.”
The need for public transportation is the puzzle piece that connected Lehman with Dayton Activity Center Coordinator Kandis Sethofner.
“She knows the need in the community,” Lehman said. “She was grocery shopping for people. We knew we could help fill a need here.”
Residents interested in receiving groceries from the CROSS mobile food shelf must sign up. The truck, Lehman said, is dual purpose — the organization will use it to pick up groceries from stores and distribute the food to families.
“We get a lot of produce and baked goods that way,” she said. “The refrigerated truck will allow us to transport eggs, milk, meat and cheese to provide a wider variety of food.”
The mobile food shelf will be stocked and loaded at the CROSS warehouse where it will then be brought to the Activity Center. The food is labeled and wheeled out on racks for residents to shop.
“We have a formula to help us gage how much food we should bring and how much goes to each person,” Lehman said. “Our program manager will also be there. She sets up a table to have some space to talk with each person. It’s important to us to connect on a personal level and make sure we’re meeting the needs in the community.”
Lehman said she’s heard lots of positive feedback from Dayton residents about the program.
“We’ve been so grateful to have that support,” she said.
Contact Megan Hopps at [email protected]