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New Christian Cupboard facility opens in Oakdale

Volunteers stock shelves in the new Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf, which opened Jan. 18 in Oakdale. Maureen McMullen / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 4
Carol Hanson, Christian Cupboard food shelf coordinator, opens a fridge to where the food shelf stores"food rescue" items— products grocers donate near the end of their shelf life. The new facility's increase refrigerator space allows Christian Cupboard to take in more of these products. Maureen McMullen / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 4
Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf opened its new 6,000 square foot facility earlier this month following a two-year fundraising campaign. Maureen McMullen / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
Christian Cupboard volunteers Steve Knutson and Gordy Uttermark assist with unloading a palette in the food shelf's new unloading and storage area. Maureen McMullen / RiverTown4 / 4

Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf opened the doors to their new facility in Oakdale earlier this month.

Construction on the 6,000 square-foot building began in September on land donated by Guardian Angels Church.

The new building features expanded floor space, more refrigerators, more storage space and an indoor unloading area.

Christian Cupboard previously operated out of a space in the Woodbury Lutheran Church basement.

Food Shelf Coordinator Carol Hanson said the new space offers a more comfortable, less congested environment for both shoppers and volunteers.

"What they were trying to do is make it like a store," she said. "We're trying to make (customers) feel better about themselves."

Food Shelf Director Greig Metzger said better lighting and increased refrigerator space allow shoppers a better view of which items are available.

"Our customers appreciate that choice and flexibility to be able to see everything," he said. "You take that a little for granted when you go to the grocery store, the opportunity to actually see well."

The food shelf served more than 7,000 households in their service area last year, a number Metzger said exceeded the capacities of the former location.

Along with more floor space, features like wheeled shelving and refrigerators will better accommodate changes as Christian Cupboard's services and customer base evolves.

"It allows us to do new and different things to address hunger in our community that without it, we just couldn't do," Metzger said.

Funding for the building came from Christian Cupboard's two-year "Raise the Roof" fundraising campaign.

Although the initiative raised enough money to move forward with construction, Christian Cupboard still faces mortgage payments.

The organization still welcomes financial donations, which can be made at ccefs.org/raisetheroof.

A bigger space can also accommodate more volunteers to help with customer intake, stocking shelves, loading products and assisting shoppers.

Volunteer registration is available at ccefs.org/volunteer/volunteer-now.

Services

Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf offers assistance with food and personal care items to families in need in Woodbury, Landfall, Oakdale, and areas of Maplewood south of Stillwater Road.

New customers are asked to bring a photo ID, utility bill with their current address and family members' identification. No appointment or pre-registry is necessary.

Hours

Monday: noon-4 p.m.

Thursday: 3-7 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Address: 8264 N. Fourth Street, Oakdale on the Guardian Angels Church property.

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