Working with Local Food Shelf Services to Provide Better Options

Working with Local Food Shelf Services to Provide Better Options


Horizon became involved with Foundation For Essential Needs (FFEN) over four years ago. FFEN didn't become just another customer of ours, they became our friends, and we are so proud to be able to work with them.

Food shelves have changed dramatically in the last three years - gone are the days of only dry goods on shelves. FFEN is a nonprofit business that focuses on the needs of food shelves so food shelves can focus on the needs of their clients. What exactly does this mean? It means FFEN comes in to help make the food shelf feel more like a grocery store rather than a place to go pickup donated food. It means actually having refrigerators and freezers so people in our communities have access to fresh produce, meats, and cheeses instead of just boxed and canned goods. FFEN helps get the most out of the current space while working to secure funds for material improvements.

Horizon has played a part in FFEN's success by helping the volunteers source items such as refrigerators and freezers. “In the midst of the pandemic, Horizon and FFEN teamed up to forecast FFEN's needs for the next year to help accommodate those needs and save them and their customers money” says Todd Sherner, VP of Business Development at Horizon. We have worked with FFEN to get the best value for their dollar and use their funds to maximize their purchases.

Horizon has also streamlined the process to get a delivery site checklist completed to be sure everything runs smoothly when delivering and installing equipment. This minimizes any errors or surprises that may arise when deliveries are made and makes for a lot less hassle that the volunteers at the local food shelves may have to deal with while working their shift and trying to get the community the food they need.

On Give to the Max Day on November 18th, we were happy to meet the FFEN staff at the Incarnation Food Shelf based in South Minneapolis and deliver four new coolers and freezers. “FFEN first started working with the Incarnation Food Shelf in the summer of 2020 as they were responding to increased demand for food due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based out of a dual language (Spanish & English) church, the food shelf proved to be a safe space to access resources for Latino families. Their long-term basement food shelf could no longer meet the needs and food shelf leaders had a vision for welcoming space where families could shop for their own food” says Kristin VanHeel, Director of Advancement at FFEN.

Food shelves are necessary all year long, not just during the holiday season. Working with FFEN has been a great experience and they do wonderful work with our local communities.