Business Highlight: Mazeppa Area Food Shelf


The Mazeppa Area Food Shelf opened its doors in January of 2015 by a group of six longtime friends from the local area and is now being organized by Jim Perrotti, Food Shelf Director, and his team of Community Advocates. This program serves low income families, single parents, senior citizens, unemployed individuals, disabled veterans, working poor, and anyone else in need of food assistance in the Bellechester, Mazeppa and Zumbro Falls area. Services provided to the community include whole food options to meet the basic nutritional needs to those who cannot afford food for meals or in response to an emergency situation. The Mazeppa Area Food Shelf currently serves 22 families total and has the capacity to accommodate many more families in need of this assistance. Each family gets around 90 pounds of food of their choice, with a few limitations on certain items higher in demand. The bulk of the food for this program comes from Channel One out of Rochester, MN; this organization is also responsible for being the reporting monitors for all of the food shelves in the Rochester Region. What Jim and his team are not able to obtain through Channel One they use monetary donations to purchase what is needed for the shelves. Jim and his team feel it’s important to stock the shelves with whole foods versus prepackaged meals for nutritional benefits and I think we can all appreciate that. March was Food Awareness Month; meaning any monetary donations that were brought in the entire month of March the State of Minnesota then matches ten to fifty cents on the dollar. The Mazeppa Area Food Shelf had set a goal this year of reaching $3,000.00 and as of March 12, Jim and his crew had raised $2,400.00, which is quite impressive. The food shelf continues to grow by government grant funding, community drives put on by local advocates and donations from local businesses and citizens. An Annual Pancake Breakfast was held on March 10 from 9 until noon at SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Mazeppa hosted by the Knights of Columbus of the Bellechester Council where the members of the Council presented a $1,500.00 check to the Mazeppa Area Food Shelf. In the month of December each year the Zumbrota Mazeppa Primary School holds a toilet paper drive and the packages of toilet paper that are brought in by the students are split between both the Zumbrota Area Food Shelf and Mazeppa Area Food Shelf. Last November, the Honor Society & FFA put together ‘Birthday Baking Baskets’ for anyone interested in receiving a basket of baking supplies to bake a cake for their birthday month. This past December the area 4 H Group - Mazeppa Musketeers - hosted ‘Food Under the Christmas Tree’ which is a state funded program for food shelves in Minnesota to supply families in need a holiday meal to cook and enjoy in their home. With this approved grant from the State of Minnesota 15 families were fed last year. Each of the families was given a turkey or ham, a bag of potatoes, corn and other choice of vegetables, dinner rolls and a pie. The Mazeppa Area Food Shelf is open the 2nd Thursday of the month from 9:00 a.m. till 11 a.m. and reopens for the day at 3:30 p.m. till 5:30 p.m. as well as the 4th Thursday of the month from 3:30 p.m. till 5:30 p.m. The food shelf is located at 329 1st Avenue North in Mazeppa. If you or anyone you know is in a situation where they need food in an emergency situation or cannot afford food for themselves Jim invites you to contact the Mazeppa Area Food Shelf as everyone deserves access to good, nutritional food. If you are interested in donating non-perishable items to the food shelf Jim suggests donating these items as they are the most in demand currently; baking supplies, pudding, cake mixes, sugar, flour, etc. These items can be dropped off at any drop-off location around town including the Bank and City Hall. Also, monetary donations are always appreciated, anyone who wishes to make a monetary donation to The Mazeppa Area Food Shelf may do so at First State Bank of Red Wing - Mazeppa Office. The Mazeppa Area Food Shelf would like to say ‘Thank You' for supporting this need within our community and helping to find a solution to fighting world hunger - it starts right in our own community, together.