It looks like the entrance to any regular grocery store. There are shelves covered in fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. There’s a big round table covered in pastries, bread and dinner rolls. Refrigerators line the far wall. They’re filled with yogurts, salads, birthday cakes, juice and fancy cheeses.
It’s all a part of the Westonka Food Shelf’s health equity initiative. Every week, patrons get to come visit the shelf’s entry space and pick out items for their families. Shelly Sir is the food shelf’s director and she said the support from the Westonka community is vital to being able to provide healthy, delicious options to people experiencing economic hardships.
“The community supports us so much,” Sir said. “Even our tables and cases out front were donated. It makes all of this possible.”
It’s been two years since the Westonka Food Shelf started making a concerted effort to get healthy foods on the tables of people who couldn’t otherwise afford it and it’s now being recognized as a SuperShelf by local food banks, Health Partners and the University of Minnesota extension program.