Welcome Pantry

Visiting the Welcome Pantry 

The Welcome Pantry is an all new food shelf in Freeborn County. Currently it is in a mobile distribution format, but plans are underway to be in a physical, permanent location with a grand opening in June of 2023. 

The Welcome Pantry is open for indoor shopping on select days. These days are advertised on the website, social media and radio. 

No appointment is needed. The intake process is very quick, and we ask for the number of persons in your household. We do not require proof of residency or income verification. Please bring shopping bags or boxes to pick up your food. 

Welcome Pantry is currently scheduled for April 18th from 3:30 to 530 at the Albert Lea Armory. The address is 410 Prospect Ave, Albert Lea, MN 56007.
Please be advised that due to moving, construction of the brick and mortar food shelf, there may not be a food distribution in May. We hope that we'll be hosting our Grand Opening of the food shelf in late June. Food resources in the county can be found on our website at http://unitedwayfc.org/food


If you have any questions or concerns about the Welcome Pantry, please reach out to our Food Shelf staff at 507-373-8670

Please note: Welcome Pantry mobile distribution dates have been located at the Albert Lea Armory. Please do not call the Armory with questions about The Welcome Pantry. The appropriate phone to call is 507-373-8670


Sending a Proxy to Pick Up Food

If it is difficult to visit the Food Shelf in person, shoppers have the option to select someone else to pick up their food. That person is their proxy. Shoppers have the right to choose who can pick their food. Shoppers can also cancel permission for a proxy at any time by contacting Food Shelf staff.

Social Service Professionals

Caseworkers, community health workers, home health aides and other social service professionals can serve as a proxy for their clients. Proxies may shop for their clients or pick up boxes of groceries from the Food Shelf. 

For more information, social service professionals can contact our Food Shelf staff, Heidi Skinner or Nikolle Guion at 507-373-8670. You may also reach them by email: heidi@unitedwayfc.org or nikolle@unitedwayfc.org 



Food Shelf Eligibility

The Welcome Pantry follows The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) eligibility guidelines. We serve households who are at or below 300% of the poverty level.

I am eligible to receive TEFAP commodity food because:

  • I am in Minnesota and
  • My household income is 300% or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

I am also eligible if I receive or participate in the following services and programs:

2022 Income Eligibility (300% of Federal Poverty Guidelines)

Family Size Monthly Income Family Size Monthly Income
One $3,398 Five $8,118
Two $4,578 Six $9,298
Three $5,758 Seven $10,478
Four $6,938 Eight $11,658

Add $1,180 of allowable income for each additional family member.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) Eligibility Information

PDFs containing eligibility information for the TEFAP program can be found below in various languages. For interpretation services, please call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 1-888-711-1151.


Eligibility Information


Formulario De Elegibilidad


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Анкета права потребная (USDA)