Hungry? Joyce can help – not hungry? You can help


The building on the corner of 31st Street and Fremont Avenue looks like many other houses in Uptown but there is something very special about it. It’s the Joyce Food Shelf where food is given to an average of 460 families per month who would otherwise go hungry.

Donations of food and money come from several sources. One is from individuals who want to help others. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Joyce Uptown Food Shelf, 1219 West 31st Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408-2703 or through PayPal at More information can be obtained at 612.825.4431 or

Southwest Minneapolis is like most neighborhoods in the United States. In this land of plenty one in eight children in Minnesota is at risk for hunger. 14% of the children served by Minnesota food shelves are forced to skip a meal because there is not enough food at home. 47% of their parents skip meals as well. 56% of food shelf visitors are families with children. 15% of food shelf clients are seniors. More than 50 percent of adult food shelf clients are employed.

Joyce Uptown Food Shelf provides clients with a three-day supply of nutritionally balanced food once a month. It will also make referrals to other agencies for additional services. It is a community outreach project of Joyce United Methodist Church and has been serving Southwest Minneapolis for more than 40 years. Its mission is to distribute food to those in need, with respect and dignity, as an expression of the love of God. It is a member of the Emergency Foodshelf Network, Hunger Solutions, Minnesota Foodshare, Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank and the Uptown Rotary. It is fully licensed by the City of Minneapolis.

The Food Shelf accepts tax-deductible donations from churches, organizations, food drives and individuals. Donations can include nonperishable food items such as peanut butter, pasta, tuna, soup, fruit and vegetables; non-food items like laundry/dish detergent, toothbrushes, toilet paper and paper towels or time as a volunteer. In addition to donations, food comes from three other major sources: The Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN), is a coalition of 26 Hennepin County food shelves which purchases from food suppliers at a discounted rate; Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank, which receives food from major corporations and commodities from a U.S. government surplus commodities program. Donated money is used to purchase food at a discount (less than $.20 per pound). Food occasionally is purchased at retail when required for nutritional balance.

Because of its Uptown location, Joyce Food Shelf receives a wide variety of donated produce and deli items from local co-ops and stores including the Wedge, Linden Hills and Whole Foods. The aim is to provide clients including vegetarians with a balanced diet.

The staff consists of a paid part-time director and four paid part-time workers. They are assisted by many dedicated volunteers from the community. The Uptown Rotary Club is a major supporter and was instrumental in raising money to build a new garage that was completed in October 2010. The garage is used as a safe place to store dry good and other supplies. Uptown Rotary volunteers work one evening per week for people who cannot come in during regular daytime hours.

Jean McGrath is the Director and Becky Spence is the Assistant Director. Joyce Uptown Food Shelf is located at 1219 West 31st Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408-2703, 612.825.4431,