Our crew is still grinning ear-to-ear after a visit with the ladies at the Spring Valley Food Shelf in Southeast Minnesota. Located just 13 miles north of a brand new sow farm we are building in Chester, this food shelf was actually a new addition to our list this year, but boy are we glad we stopped!
"Most families can get by finding canned goods and vegetables, but meat is always a struggle which is such a shame since it is packed with nutrients," said Rita Hartert, one of the many friendly volunteers that can be found at the Spring Valley Food Shelf. "A donation like this means so much. This meat is going to go fast, but in a good way. It's going to benefit so many families in need."
After filling nearly every vacant freezer with more than 600 pounds of pork, we had a chance to explore the quaint, yet impressive food shelf that feeds 120 families in the area once a month. "This is not meant to be their main source of food," said Sharon Jahn, Director of the Food Shelf. "We are a supplemental source of food and household items for these families, but the help we are able to provide lifts a huge burden for many of them struggling to stay afloat."
Like many other foods pantries and shelves in the area, the Spring Valley Food Shelf operates solely on the support of local volunteers, businesses and community members. "We are not paid a single penny," explained Sharon. "We are simply here because we want to help our community out. We truly believe that we are making a positive difference in the lives of the 120 families that we impact and for us, that means the world."