West Central Turkeys presented a donation of $10,000 to the Pelican Rapids Area Community Food Shelf. Pictured, representing the turkey plant and employees, Ronda Ellingson, Sean Lisko, Carol Johnson, Romario Moreno Pantoja, and Anita Pearson.

The Pelican Rapids Area Community Food Shelf is in high gear for the holiday season. 

Demand is high during these inflationary economic times, and thanks to contributions from a wide range of businesses, civic organizations, and Pelican students—the food shelf is able to keep up with the demand. 

“An average of 110 family units use the Pelican Rapids Food Shelf per month, which is about double compared to last year,” reported Pelican Food Shelf director Janet Lindberg.

With the holiday season here, the food shelf has been providing traditional Thanksgiving Holiday Boxes during the month of November for each family, noted Lindberg. 

Contributions have been increasing, including a $10,000 contribution received last week from West Central Turkeys. 

Many small businesses are playing a role too. 

Brown Eyed Susans in Pelican Rapids raised nearly $300 in a recent holiday sales promotion—plus customers donated a wide variety of food items, reported owner Jessica Shulstad. 

Lakeland General Store-Dunvilla is encouraging food shelf donors with a five-cent discount per gallon of gas for any non-perishable food item donated at the store. 

The Pelican Rotary Club continues its tradition of holiday food baskets this season. 

The Heart O’ Lakes Harmony singers will be encouraging donations to the food shelf at the upcoming, Dec. 11 concert, 3 p.m. at the Pelican Fine Arts Auditorium. 

“Thank you,” added Lindberg. “We appreciate all the community support for the Food Shelf. This includes local businesses and associations; the school; churches; and individuals.”

Volunteers are a cornerstone for the food shelf, noted Lindberg. Many of the churches have been sending volunteers for their designated month, and the school has sent volunteers from both the SADD program and MN Honor Society. 

Call for Pelican food shelf volunteers 

The shelf has benefited from more regular volunteers. However, more are encouraged, and the shelf is in need of a few additional volunteers to help unload the monthly food truck. Contact the Food Shelf if you are willing to help out: 218-863-3663.

New shopping model at Pelican shelf 

In other food shelf notes, the Pelican operation received grant money to provide a basic box of food for curbside pick-up. This would be an alternative to the “shopping” model inside the food shelf, where the participant can select what they will use. This makes the food shelf more accessible to those who may not want to come inside the food shelf, or may have mobility issues. 

Curbside boxes can be picked up on the Friday that follows the third Tuesday (Food Truck day).

Garden Produce totaled more than 3,200 pounds—grown locally

Local gardeners provided over 3,200 pounds of produce for the free Food Shelf Farmers Market, set up outside the food shelf Tuesday Mornings. 

Food Shelf participants were encouraged to pick this up weekly.

About 60 students participate in the backpack program, and 25 seniors receive NAPS (Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors) nutrition boxes.