Big changes continue at NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center as the Community Food Shelf moves to its permanent home in the main campus facility at 2220 Plymouth Ave N starting July 31, 2023.
The move comes after the Food Shelf’s stint in a temporary location at 1835 Penn Ave N, at the corner of Golden Valley Rd. The temporary location served as a bridge between the previous NorthPoint Human Services building, which was demolished in 2018, and the new 135,000 square foot facility, which will be home to all medical, dental, behavioral health and human services.
Stuart Iseminger, Food Programs Manager at NorthPoint, says the move is a huge step forward for our community. “Our goal is to make the Food Shelf experience look like a grocery store experience. We want to remove the stigma associated with visiting a Food Shelf, and it helps to have a bright, attractive space.”
NorthPoint’s Community Food Shelf provides supplemental, culturally specific food items to individuals and families, who can access the resource once per month. The Food Shelf also provides cleaning supplies, hygiene items, pet food, pasteurized human milk, and more.
The new location means the Community Food Shelf is now physically connected to all of NorthPoint’s services. Guests who need to see the dentist, visit their primary care doctor, or see their therapist can now stop by the Community Food Shelf during the same visit.
Some key features of the new Community Food Shelf will include:
- Spacious area designed for easy guest flow
- Large windows and abundance of natural light
- Ample waiting area with comfortable seating
- Convenient parking directly adjacent to the Food Shelf space
- Dedicated space for staff and volunteers to take breaks
- Additional storage space for surplus food
This development is part of NorthPoint’s approach to whole-person, integrated care. NorthPoint’s mission—partnering to create a healthier community—calls for a commitment to increasing access to healthy food.
Karen Blanchard, Registered Dietician at NorthPoint, says that grocery access can create a barrier for people in making healthy food choices. “It’s about access, affordability, understanding that something may be good for me, yet I can’t get it. There are obstacles in my way.” She says the Food Shelf’s new location will be one less barrier her patients will have to worry about.
Access to healthy food is an important issue, particularly in the North Minneapolis community, which has seen the closure of several major grocery sources in the last year. NorthPoint’s Food Shelf currently welcomes an average of 3,200 individuals each month, an increase from 2,300 individuals per month in 2022.
NorthPoint offers an array of services to partner with the community to make healthy food choices, including:
- Free Fresh Food Fridays: free produce distributions open to the community twice per month during the summer.
- SNAP Navigators: assistance for individuals and families to determine if they are eligible for SNAP, and to help them sign up if they are eligible.
- Nutritionists and Dieticians: assistance for individuals and families to learn how to eat right for diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy, high blood pressure, or food allergies.
Future plans at NorthPoint include a Teaching Kitchen, where NorthPoint’s Dieticians will be able to offer fun, interactive instructions on how to put healthy groceries to use. This will be located in the same main campus facility, just down the hall. The facility will be complete in early 2024.
NorthPoint Community Food Shelf: northpointhealth.org/food
Volunteer at NorthPoint: northpointhealth.org/volunteer
Donate to NorthPoint: northpointhealth.org/donate
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