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Connecting Our Community

Basic Needs Program

Helping families in economic crisis

The Keystone Basic Needs Program helps feed the hungry and assists people in crisis in a large service area in Ramsey County — from downtown St. Paul to Roseville, from Little Canada to the Midway and the North End neighborhoods of St. Paul. 

Food and other necessities are provided to individuals year-round through three food shelves. The food shelves use a “client choice” system, giving eligible individuals the opportunity to select food according to their families’ needs. Clients may receive services at the foodshelf once a month. Get locations and information on how to access services.

In addition to food shelves, Keystone’s emergency assistance program provides information and referral services and links people in emergency situations to community resources for housing, utilities and other basic needs. To learn more, call 651-917-3883.

In partnership with the Suburban Ramsey Family Collaborative, Keystone also provides school-linked case management services for families within the four suburban Ramsey school districts.  To learn more, call 651-797-7709.

To meet the growing demand for services, Keystone relies on the generosity of volunteers who staff the food shelves and on regular donors of food and cash, including area churches, businesses and individuals. Get a list (PDF)  of most needed foodshelf items.

The reality of hunger in our community

According to the Steering Committee of the Twin Cities Hunger Initiative, of those visiting food shelves:

  • 50 percent are children
  • 11 percent are children that skip meals regularly due to a lack of food
  • 43 percent are parents skipping meals due to a lack of enough food
  • 20 percent are senior citizens
  • 43 percent have jobs, but need to choose to between paying for food and paying other bills like rent, utilities or medications

For more information about hunger in the Twin Cities, go to http://www.neighborsmn.org/items/plantoendtchunger.pdf.

For information about a recent USDA report on the extent of hunger in the U.S., go to  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/16/AR200911...

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