Loaves & Fishes, the volunteer-run organization that brings warm meals to in-need communities, has opened its latest site in Farmington.
The decision behind the nonprofit's decision to open its 33rd kitchen in Farmington's Faith Church was driven by the recent closure of Family Fresh.
Family Fresh was Farmington's only grocery store, and its closure in December has left the city of 23,000 with a 6-mile trip to the Cub Foods in Lakeville as its closest food store.
While for those with vehicles the 10-minute drive isn't too much of an issue, the closure of Family Fresh sparked concern for those with mobility problems and without access to a personal vehicle.
While a local council member is calling for the likes of Aldi and Hy-Vee to urgently push ahead with their plans to open supermarkets in the city, Loaves & Fishes is moving in to give the most vulnerable residents at least one warm meal a week.
It is now offering a free community meal every week, with the first event having been held from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on New Year's Day.
While it will operate weekly initially, Loaves & Fishes is hoping to get enough volunteers that it will be able to offer more days in the future.
"We serve with a heart and we are really excited to get going in January, and we are hoping it goes so well with volunteers that it will be able to expand into more days to make sure people that are missing the grocery store are still getting food and having takeaways after the meal," executive director Cathy Maes told the Sun This Week.
You can find out more about Loaves & Fishes and sign up as a volunteer here.