FREE SPEECH ZONE | Roseville food shelf opens to serve growing need


In response to a growing population of low-income families in northern Ramsey County suburban communities, Keystone Community Services has moved its Roseville food shelf to a larger and more accessible location.

The Roseville Food Shelf, now located at 2833 North Hamline Avenue in the Hamline Shopping Center, offers expanded service hours for families in Roseville, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale and Little Canada.

Previously located in the Fairview Community Center, the new Roseville site is one of three Keystone locations, including the Rice Street Food Shelf, 1457 Rice Street, and the Midway Food Shelf, 1916 University Avenue West.

 “At our new Roseville location, we have more than doubled our hours to serve north suburban Ramsey County families,” said Christine Pulver, director of Keystone’s Basic Needs Program. “We appreciate the support that many area churches and organizations have provided and look forward to working with many more to assure that every family in need can be assisted.”

An Open House at the new food shelf will be held on Thursday, March 3, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. (a brief program will be held at 5:30 p.m.) The event is open to the public and all are welcome to stop by. Food shelf contributions will be accepted.

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As a primary provider of emergency food services for the metropolitan areas of St. Paul and suburban Ramsey County, Keystone has responded to an ever-increasing demand for food shelf services.  In fact, since 2006, demand at Keystone’s food shelves has escalated by 109%.

In 2010, the agency’s programs served 72,482 food shelf clients, an increase of 18% over the previous year. (These percentages are duplicated counts reflecting total visits to the food shelves. Many individuals use the service more than once.)

“More and more people are finding it very hard to make ends meet, and they are turning to food shelves in growing numbers in order to feed their families,” said Pulver.

“Most are employed, but have low-paying jobs that offer few or no benefits and little stability. They are often living paycheck to paycheck and are vulnerable to an unexpected crisis or expense, such as car repair, rent increase, or cutback in work hours. Food shelves have become an essential resource to help these families get through emergency situations and difficult times,” she said.                      

            Volunteers and donors play a major role in Keystone’s Basic Needs Program, staffing the food shelves and contributing food and cash. Keystone’s network of support includes churches, businesses, schools and civic organizations as well as individuals and families.    

             “As we provide more extensive food shelf services to north suburban Ramsey County, we look forward to expanded collaboration with civic, religious and youth groups in north suburban Ramsey County to assure that no family goes hungry in our community,” said Eric Nyberg, president, Keystone Community Services.

The Greater Twin Cities United Way is one of the major funders of Keystone’s Basic Needs Program.

“With hunger in the Twin Cities area continuing, the increased demand for help from food shelves has been particularly dramatic in the suburbs,” said Marcia Fink, director, Meeting Basic Needs Impact Area, Greater Twin Cities United Way. “The Greater Twin Cites United Way is pleased to be a funder and partner with Keystone Community Services.  We congratulate their leadership for exploring efficient ways to meet the rising needs with a new expanded site that offers greater efficiency and impact.”

Roseville City Council member Tammy Pust said Keystone’s expanded food shelf program is important in meeting the growing need.

“Making sure that children and their families don’t go hungry strengthens families, and strong families strengthen our community,” said Pust, who serves on Keystone Community Services’ board of directors.  “We thank Keystone for making this critical investment in our community.”

 To learn more about Keystone, go to