First-of-its-kind free food market opens in Twin Cities area

Today's Harvest opened Tuesday in Oakdale, providing free food to those who need it. 

Food insecurity in some communities remains high more than a year into the pandemic, so one Twin Cities area food shelf is taking on a new initiative to help those in need while preventing food from going to waste. 

Today’s Harvest hosted a grand opening Tuesday for its first-of-its-kind market. 

From milk to veggies, Today’s Harvest offers free food to those who need it. 

"These are items that are coming off the shelf of a grocery store," said Jessica Francis, the executive of Christian Cupboard Food Shelf. "They are coming off the shelf, but they have a few more days of life left in them." 

With the support of partnerships, Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf gives food a second chance. 

"We’ve been just seeing so many people that are struggling to get the fresh and healthy food that they need," said Francis. 

"Populations that are food insecure quite honestly just need a place to pop in and get a few items to get through the next day or two, and this model does that," said Sue Gillman, a volunteer. 

Gillman modeled the market after one she came across visiting Australia and now it’s a reality in Minnesota. 

Francis hopes the model can grow and that there can be multiple sites in the future. 

Today’s Market will be run primarily by volunteers. It will be open six days a week. Organizers say the food is intended to provide a supply of items that will last a day or two. 

People are welcome to return as often as they need to. 

Today’s Market is open six days a week: Monday-Friday, noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.