Season of Giving: The gift of food


Mary Sager

Food for the 26 homeless kids at OHS

Tyler Wencl, writer

Editor’s Note: This is a series focused on needs and volunteering opportunities in the Owatonna Community.

With the christmas spirit in the air and people in a cheerful mood, there is an urge to give back to the less fortunate. If looking for a place to volunteer over the winter break, look no further than the Steele County Food Shelf. Director Nancy Ness said, “One can aid the Food Shelf by bringing non-perishable food items during store hours, giving cash donations or giving up time by helping distribute food.” The Steele County Food Shelf is open on Monday and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Steele County Food Shelf plays a big roll not only for the community, but some students at the Owatonna High School. OHS has 26 students that are considered homeless. Many more students at OHS including these 26 may only get one meal a day -which only happens at school. The Food Shelf helps provide students food with the help of the school social worker Mrs. Nancy Williams. When asked how she helps these students, Mrs. Williams said, “I refer families to the Food Shelf if needed and if they have transportation, but most OHS students who are considered homeless or living in pervasive poverty, use my “Husky Pantry” which is located in my office at the high school. For these students in need, I fill up their backpacks on Fridays with enough food for the weekend.” Aiding the Food Shelf this season will impact the students at OHS, and everything to benefit these students is appreciated.

See here for more about homelessness at OHS. Donations can be brought to 155 Oakdale Street, Owatonna, MN, Apt. A. Cash donations are used to obtain more food from a food bank in Rochester, MN called Channel One. To reach the Steele County Food Shelf call 507-455-2991