A bold solution for long-term growth
Our president, Rob Williams, recently shared about the incredible growth and impact Every Meal has had over the past decade in this video. I’m following up with more information on our bold solution for long-term growth. Below I provide some numbers and logistics that help demonstrate Every Meal’s need for more space in order to fight child hunger in our community.
For the 2022-2023 school year, we saw a 34% increase in enrollment sign-ups for our Weekend Meal Program. We had planned for a 17% increase, and quickly reached our capacity to send food home for the weekend to more kids. This meant making the difficult choice to cancel our Winter Meal Program and freezing enrollment for new schools. We currently operate primarily out of our warehouse and offices in Roseville, but space constraints are limiting our ability to grow, and we are having to use additional spaces across town for food storage.
Operating with good stewardship of our supporters’ time and money is extremely important to us. We have been carefully evaluating next steps in a plan that will simultaneously grow our physical space to meet immediate needs and also create a path for us to provide food to more hungry children across Minnesota in a very efficient way. Using a hub and spoke model, our long-term plan will include a central home base for food storage. Our food can then be delivered quickly and efficiently to our community partners to distribute in our communities. Plus, with more storage space, we will be able to purchase larger quantities of food at lower prices, allowing us to stretch donations even further and serve more Minnesota children facing empty kitchen cupboards at home.
We’ve identified the need for a facility with approximately 60,000-80,000 square feet, located as centrally within the Twin Cities as possible. This would increase volunteers’ access to the food assembly area of the facility to pack the food bags we distribute to thousands of children
There will be additional opportunities in the near future for you to help us address this need, but our current focus is on identifying leads for potential facilities that would fit our purpose. We have a commercial real estate broker searching for properties, but the market is incredibly tight and the vacancy rate is incredibly low.
If you like knowing and going into the details, please make sure to sign up here to get the insider scoop on our plans.
Your continued support is still very important. Your donations, your time volunteering, and your prayers (if that’s part of your spiritual practice) are making a difference – please continue playing a role so we can put this plan into action.
Thank you for being a part of our Every Meal community and for your continued dedication to feeding hungry children across Minnesota.
– Nate Youngblood, Vice President