The Food Distribution warehouse and office spaces were given a facelift!
Construction on the building began in November 2021. Delays in materials lengthened the process, but construction was wrapped up in February 2022. Food Distribution employees include Director Jake Reynolds (2014), Warehouse Supervisor Nate Schaefer (2017), and Program Supervisor Teana Merrill (2019). The Food Distribution program serves many households, ranging in size from single person to multiple family homes. Food benefits are provided on a monthly basis to income eligible households, with those taking part in the program either residing on Tribal land or enrolled Tribal members living in one of the four counties served — Polk, Burnett, Washburn, and Barron counties.
Food Distribution aspires to increase program participation. Recent months have brought big changes to the program. The food quality has improved significantly, now including fresh fruits and vegetables, updated meat options, and shelled eggs. As an example, applicants can bring home pork chops, ground beef, bison, or beef roasts! The program will also deliver selected food items to elders, if necessary.
Qualified Food Distribution applicants are provided food benefits that average higher than similar SNAP benefits. The program application is quick and easy to complete. Anyone eligible and interested can simply stop into the warehouse during normal business hours, Monday thru Thursday from 7am-5pm. Applications can also be requested via email, fax, or mail. An application must be completed to begin receiving food benefits, and the process includes income verification via pay stubs and Tribal member identification or proof of residency on Tribal land.
There are additional updates to the warehouse on the horizon. Director Jake Reynolds plans to install a kitchen in order to demonstrate how to cook the different items available in delicious and healthy ways. He also hopes to publish a menu to provide recipe ideas. Stop by the warehouse to see their updated space and, if eligible, consider speaking with a staff member about how to join the program.