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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • BC REA purchases appliances for food shelf

  • The Brown County REA (BCREA) contacted food shelf volunteers back in January to offer to purchase appliances for the new Springfield Area Food Shelf (SAFS) facility, which serves the Springfield, Sanborn, Clements, Cobden and Comfrey areas.
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  • The Brown County REA (BCREA) contacted food shelf volunteers back in January to offer to purchase appliances for the new Springfield Area Food Shelf (SAFS) facility, which serves the Springfield, Sanborn, Clements, Cobden and Comfrey areas.
     
    In May, the REA donated funds to purchase an energy-efficient refrigerator and freezer that will keep perishable foods cold or frozen until they are given out to food shelf clients. As the food shelf continues to grow and the need for more refrigerator and freezer space has arisen, the coop is providing funds for another refrigerator and freezer to help meet that need.
     
    BCREA Member Services Manager Marcia Solie said the appliance donations are made possible through revenue earned from the cooperative’s residential retail sales. Minnesota law requires electric cooperatives to spend a portion of that revenue on income-eligible programs.
     
    “Providing the refrigerators and freezers to the food shelf as it is starting up is a perfect fit for the program. And it benefits a number of people from communities throughout the REA’s service area,” she said.
     
    While the contents will vary, the freezers are stocked with ground beef, ground chicken, pork patties, chicken, steak, roast, pork loin, turkey, frozen potatoes and blueberries. Refrigerated items include milk, cheese, butter, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
     
    Food shelf volunteer Jan Schwanke said it’s taken a while to figure out amounts of food to order as use of the facility has been growing steadily. In its first six months of operation, she reported, the food shelf distributed more than 1,100 pounds of non-perishable food and more than 900 pounds of meat since cold storage has been available. Much of the food distributed has come from local food drives conducted by local businesses and organizations.
     
    The food shelf is sponsored by the United Methodist Church in Springfield. It is located in the Schwanke Engines building at 804 East Rock Street, right along Highway 14 in Springfield. Distribution hours are Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30.
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