Rhonda Silence

Grand Marais Food Shelf is ready to meet food needs during pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Grand Marais Food Shelf has remained open. When businesses began closing doors in March, food shelf volunteers were quite worried. Would layoffs mean increased use–and fewer donations?

That has not been the case. Organizer Bill Lenz told WTIP that the food shelf has tremendous community support and it is quite well stocked.

However, despite knowing anecdotally that there are people in need, Bill Lenz said there have not been as many food shelf recipients as usual.

Lenz encourages the public to take advantage of the food assistance that the food shelf can provide. He wrote, “Let your friends and neighbors give you a hand up. When resources are scarce, let us help.”

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence checked in with food shelf volunteer Gwen Lenz to learn about food shelf operations during this trying time for so many, including “emergency boxes” for newly unemployed community members.

Lenz said things are going well, but she echoed her husband’s comments. She said there is plenty of food, as well as some toiletries, and dog food for those in need. For anyone who doesn’t have transportation, Arrowhead Transit gives free rides to the food shelf.

Lenz explained that changes have been made to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And for the elderly or those vulnerable to the coronavirus because of health issues, there is a small group of volunteers to deliver food.

The Grand Marais Food Shelf is in the lower level of the First Congregational Church at Third Avenue West and Second Street in Grand Marais. Food distributions held every Monday from 3 to 7 p.m. and on the first Wednesday of each month, from 5 to 7 p.m.

For more information, please call 218-387-9860.

Here’s WTIP’s Rhonda Silence, speaking with Gwen Lenz with more.