Food shelf moving

The Kenyon Food Shelf, currently located at 98 Gunderson Blvd., will soon be moved to 518 Second St. It has remained at the current location for the last 10 years at no charge, due to the generosity of Paul Peterson and Milo Peterson Ford. (Michelle Vlasak/southernminn.com

Members of the Dennison, Kenyon, Nerstrand, Wanamingo and West Concord areas will find the Kenyon Food Shelf in a new location come early December, just in time for the Christmas in Kenyon celebration.

Due to the sale of the current facility, which All Seasons Community Services CEO Mary Frutiger says Milo Peterson Ford and Paul Peterson generously donated to the Food Shelf for the last 10 years, the food shelf is relocating into town.

“We have been blessed with such local support,” said Frutiger. “It’s just been amazing.”

The new location will be at 518 Second St., Kenyon, at the back of the current activity center, half a block away from the All Seasons Thrift Store. Before putting the property up for sale, Frutiger said Peterson gave them ample notice, and plans to continue to work with them until the move is complete.

Frutiger says the activity center uses approximately 60% of the space, so with some renovation, a little paint and elbow grease, Kenyon area contractors and volunteers are converting the current storage space to use as the food shelf. The activity center will remain at the front of the facility, and the relocated food shelf will assume the rear of the facility. Frutiger adds clients will be directed to the relocation entrance.

While greatly appreciating Peterson for providing the space over the years, Frutiger says the food shelf in turn will see a modest savings because it won’t need as much snow plowing. She adds having all three parts of the organization — the thrift store, food shelf and activity center — all located in the downtown area will make it easier to maintain. Frutiger says it’s also a blessing that there are no major costs involved with the relocation since All Seasons already owns the new space. All they need to cover is the renovation costs.

“ASCS is pleased to continue to offer food security to the Kenyon, Wanamingo, West Concord, Dennison and Nerstrand, with very little break in service during the coming holiday season,” added Frutiger.

Current operations

Frutiger adds that generous families, farmers and multiple church congregations continue to provide fresh produce along with the needed funding for non-perishable food and personal care supplies. Per a flyer sent out a few weeks back, Fruitger said year-to-date, the food shelf met the needs of 259 individuals, averaging 22 families per month and distributing over 10,000 pounds of food.

Food Shelf Director Traci Werner adds that personal care products are some of the most in demand items at the food shelf, particularly things like deodorant and shampoo for men. Above all, Werner encourages anyone in need to stop by the food shelf and get the items they need.

”We have so much to give, we’re open and willing to help,” said Werner.

Those interested can call and leave message outside of business hours, or stop by business hours. The food shelf is typically open from 2 to 5 p.m. Mondays, noon to 3 p.m. Thursdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Werner took over as food shelf director from Bev Jacobsen last February, after Jacobsen retired from the position. Werner moved to Kenyon two years ago from Burnsville, and wanted to get involved in the community. She began volunteering at the food shelf right away, and applied for the director position once it opened. She loves being able to meet new people, from volunteers and clients to donors.

Reach reporter Michelle Vlasak at 507-333-3128. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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