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  • Update October 18:  Thank you for your food donations in October for the launch of the Food Pantry at the Community Education Center! A special note of thanks to 1st Security Bank and Fareway for supporting this effort and routing donations our way. Thank you to Holly Arndt, volunteer extraordinaire, for helping to organize the donations. We have a list of potential volunteers and we will be reaching out to them in the coming weeks to set up volunteer schedules to help maintain the Food Pantry and assist shoppers. 

    The Food Pantry is stocked up and will open to shoppers on Wednesday, October 25.  Shopping will be available by appointment. Request a shopping appointment here.
     
    We will continue to accept donations through November 21 to ensure that we have enough items in rotation. If you or your community group would like to help with a food drive, email:  katie.schmitt@byron.k12.mn.us

    About the Food Pantry

    The Food Pantry is located at the Byron Community Education Center. Our plan is to open the Food Pantry to shoppers in October.

    Efforts have been made in the past by various community groups and individuals to provide a local Food Pantry. Over the years, Fareway Foods, 1st Security Bank, Boy Scouts, local churches and the Byron School District have all played an important part in collecting and distributing food to people in need. As new spaces became available to Community Education on the south end of the CEC building, we began exploring the option to establish a centralized Food Pantry and Community Closet in an empty room at the CEC. In partnership with District Social Worker, Christine Jostock, and Byron Middle School students, Community Education coordinated a pop-up Food Pantry in the spring of 2023 to distribute food items to community residents.

    During the summer of 2023, the Food Pantry space was refreshed as part of the Byron Public Schools construction project. Upgrades to the space included new flooring, ceiling, lighting, HVAC and a new large window with a park view. Start-up funding for Food Pantry furnishings was provided by a Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) grant through Olmsted County. Grant funds were used to purchase shelving, tables, signage, and storage.  

    Our goal is to partner with community organizations and individuals to serve Byron neighbors who are experiencing food insecurity and economic challenges.

    Building the Future

    Future plans include the addition of a refrigerator and freezer in order to increase the variety of fresh and frozen produce (vegetables, fruit, meat, and dairy products). 

    Byron Middle School students will design Food Pantry cubbies to increase access while maintaining customer privacy.

    The long-term vision for the Food Pantry includes establishing a farm-to-table garden program as well as access to cooking and nutrition education.


    About the Community Closet

    The Community Closet is located next to the Food Pantry at the CEC. It is stocked with essential household supplies and personal care products and available to Food Pantry shoppers. Shopping hours for the Community Closet are the same as the Food Pantry.

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  •  No appointments are needed on Pop-Up Shopping Days at the Food Pantry! Drop in and pick up items you need.

  • Shop the Food Pantry & Community Closet

  • Donate Food or Money

  • Get Involved

  • Visit the Food Pantry & Community Closet