To the Editor,

Long-time New York Mills Area Food Shelf Board of Directors members retired from service and leadership at the February annual meeting. Ronda Koehler has been the long-serving chairman of the group, providing overall leadership and guidance, as well as working at the monthly Food Shelf distribution day. Board member Bonnie Welter organized and ordered the supplies of food available at the Food Shelf every month. Board member Diane DuChene monitored the non-food staples and worked on food shelf distribution day.

New Board of Directors members and officers were assigned at the annual meeting. Teresa Muckala will serve as chairman, Jo Rudnitski as vice chair, Connie Warner as treasurer and Kay Tougas as secretary.  Returning board members representing their churches are Joyce White (Assembly of God) and Karen Oelschlager (St. Peter’s). New members representing local congregations include Jodi Rettig (United Church of Christ) and Norma Tumberg (Apostolic Lutheran). New At Large members are Alice Martin, Kay Tougas and Greg Esala.  

The area food shelf is an all-volunteer organization that maintains the food shelf building and holds an open house on the last Monday morning of each month for families and individuals who need a bit of help to get through the month. The food shelf is principally funded by generous donations from the surrounding area, with some additional funding from the state and grants. Most of the groceries come from the North Country Food Bank in northern Minnesota, as well as from the Mills Country Market. More than 75 percent of the people who use the food shelf are over age 65, and many of the others have children at home. 

The group includes 16 volunteers who work monthly on distribution day or unload the food delivery truck and stock shelves each month, or who step in occasionally to keep us from being short-handed. Our distribution model is for people to shop the grocery shelves, ensuring that they choose groceries that they can use. 

March is Food Share month, and representatives of the area food shelf thank everyone who donates goods or money to the organization. We will continue to work hard to be good stewards of those resources. 

If you would like to volunteer at the New York Mills Area Food Shelf, call me at (763) 843-3269. If you have a donation for the food shelf, contact Connie Warner at Warner Garage. 

Teresa Muckala

New York Mills Area Food Shelf Board Chair