PRISM food shelf shifts from weekly to monthly shopping


Dinner, awards and a new documentary: PRISM is having its annual ‘Taste of the Burbs’ fundraiser Thursday, May 9. There are two spaces for this event. Tickets for Frankie’s in New Hope are sold out, but a few spots remain for the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley.

The nonprofit supports families in Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, New Hope, Crystal and Plymouth. Though they’ve met their $105,000 sponsorship goal, the organization invites additional sponsors. Overall, PRISM hopes to raise $221,000 from “Taste of the Burbs.”

This year, the second round of the Light of PRISM Awards will be distributed. Alisha Weis, director of advancement at PRISM, told the Sun Post there are four recipients again.

Pat Daily is an individual volunteer and a member of Valley Community Presbyterian Church.

“She, for about 15 years, has done a lot of back-end volunteer work for us,” Weis said of Daily. “She does all of our data entry for donations and a lot of admin-focused stuff that really saves us a lot of time. She’s fabulous.”

The Golden Valley Rotary Club is another award-winner. The club has monthly volunteer opportunities at PRSIM. Executive Director Michelle Ness and Weis have both been rotarians for years.

Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth, the third award-winner, is a founding member and hosts Brews, Eats & Beats for PRISM.

Boger Dental in Plymouth is the final award-winner. The dentist has ordered toothbrushes and toothpaste for PRISM as well as held food drives.

“They have been really, really great supporters,” Weis said of Boger Dental.

The four recipients will be honored during “Taste of the Burbs.”

Alli Heckert, communications at PRISM is also excited about the documentary which will be unveiled during the fundraiser. Heckert aims to include exclusive interviews from participants and provide a deep dive into operations at the nonprofit.

Many people need assistance


Over 1,200 families came to PRISM in March. Once a month, families can pick up a week’s worth of food. This is a big change: participants used to shop once a week.

Last year, the Sun Post reported on a shift in food shelves when pandemic-era funding stopped. PRISM has continued to face a tighter budget.

Heckert said with weekly shopping, the building was overwhelmed and their food supply would run out.

“People would come in on a Thursday and we [wouldn’t] have food to give them,” Heckert remembered.

Since the change to monthly – which happened in February – the environment is a lot calmer. Since scaling back, Heckert said the quality of the food is increased, they aren’t running out anymore. Food shelf shoppers can take the time to pick out what they will eat.

Additionally, “staff are more available,” Heckert commented. Each new participant meets with a case manager to discuss available resources.

Another change is that the food shelf now gives families different amounts of food based on the size of the family. Previously, all households received the same amount.

“It wasn’t as helpful to offer a family of seven the same as you’d give a family of two,” Heckert said.

Last month was also the Minnesota March FoodShare campaign. PRISM set a goal of 300,000 dollars or pounds of food and raised just over half, collecting 155,621.

State funding might increase, as state legislatives are considering a new bill. HF 4150 would establish the Minnesota food bank program, and move $5 million from the general fund to the food banks beginning in 2025. A one-time $2 million would also be dispersed to food shelves.

In addition to food, PRISM is able to give some housing assistance. However funding is very limited in this area. According to Weis, PRISM gets about 250 calls for housing assistance each month but is only able to help 20 families.

“The reality is, if we had unlimited funding we could probably spend that unlimited funding,” Weis said about housing assistance.

There are many ways people can give. Money can be sent online or dropped off at the door at 1220 Zane Ave. N. in Golden Valley.

PRISM’s secondhand store Shop for Change collects and sells donations of clothing and home goods. The general public can shop there and donate. Sometimes participants will be given vouchers for this location. Household goods like pots and pans, silverware etc. are especially in demand.

Labor is also appreciated, and there are many volunteer opportunities for those with some extra time.

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Please direct media inquiries to Alisha Weis, Advancement Director

Call Alisha763-432-4229

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