'Fare For All' Provides Food for Thousands of Families Across Minnesota

        

Financial experts say Americans are starting 2016 with more job security but many are still theoretically only a paycheck away from the street - threatening food security.

What if you could go to a location in your neighborhood and pick up a package of fresh meats and produce at a low cost with no strings attached?

It's considered the best-kept secret in town.

Fare For All is a nonprofit program that has 30 locations in the greater Twin Cities metro area where food packages are sold at two locations during the week.

Thirty-year-old Heidi Lounsvrough shops at Fare For All sites on a daily basis.

She says she doesn't qualify for government assistance, but the non-profit program helps her keep food on the table.

'I have an eight-year-old and almost a three-year-old, and mainly that's always my main concern is feeding my kids,' she said.

There are no qualifications or income restrictions; the program is open to everyone. No pre-registration or pre-payment is required.

'Stressing about bills is bad enough. If you don't have to worry about food or feeding your kids, I think it makes things a lot easier,' Scott Weatherhead, the program manager of Fare For All, said.

He believes there is a misconception about the program, stating some people feel they are taking away from others that struggle with food insecurity.

'The people who aren't struggling are actually helping the people who are struggling by purchasing the packages,' he said.

Fare For All buys fresh produce and frozen meat in bulk from wholesalers and manufactures to find the best deals available.

Volunteers at the warehouse pre-pack the produce and meat into food packages that range in price from $10 to $25.

The more people who participate in Fare For All, the more purchasing power the program has; his means that greater savings will be passed onto the customers.

Currently more than 4,000 families shop at Fare For All sites across Minnesota every month.

The program is expanding to areas in Northern Minnesota.

Find a list of Fare For All sites here.