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 we hope to be in a physical, permanent location in the future.
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 February 21st and March 21st 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 April or May. We hope that we'll be hosting our Grand Opening of the food shelf during that timeframe. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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:
MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program)
Child Care Assistance
GA (General Assistance)
SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program)
WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)
Free and reduced breakfast and lunch
2022 Income Eligibility (300% of Federal Poverty Guidelines)
|Family Size||Monthly Income||Family Size||Monthly Income|
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.