St. Peter food shelf making differences in the community

New management has helped to develop ways to serve the St. Peter area through the pandemic
Published: Jul. 11, 2021 at 4:17 PM CDT
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ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) - The young core at the St. Peter area food shelf is working to make a difference. Andie Kukacka took over as manager of the food shelf in August of 2020 at the height of the pandemic and has been working to meet the ever changing needs of those in the area especially the needs that arose over the last year.

One change brought on by the pandemic is curbside and delivery service offered by the food shelf.

“A lot of people do not have reliable transportation to get to their food sources in the first place and number two some people are just in a place where people do not feel like it is safe enough for people to leave their homes and they do not want to be interacting with people in person,” Kukacka said.

The food shelf serves the St. Peter area and the surrounding communities by serving those with food insecurities and under the poverty line. Within the last year the food shelf has made more of an effort toward helping their non-English speaking community members as well.

They have hired translators for both their Somali and Spanish speaking clients

“If they really do not know English or if they are new to the community in any way we are there to let them know that they are not only extremely welcome,” Spanish translator and interpreter Gisel Murillo said. “They do not have to know English, they do not have to assimilate in any way.”

In the future the St. Peter Area Food shelf is looking to expand their reach beyond the immediate area to help reach those with food insecurity.

“Now there is also an issue for people in rural communities around us having even greater difficulty getting to food than before because of the COVID crisis and the toll that it has taken on them,” Kukacka said.

The St. Peter Area food shelf wanted to leave a message for those in the Spanish speaking community in the area.

“Hola muchísimo gusto aqui en St. Peter Food Shelf son absolutamente bienvenidas queremos ayudarlos siempre,” Murillo said.

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