St. Paul food shelf searching for new home

For the last four years, Andrea Thomas has operated Nourish Food Shelf out of the fellowship hall at Mount Olivet Baptist Church on the edge of Frogtown.

Now her nonprofit is in need of a new home.

"Would be sad to leave this home but would be excited. I'm excited about the possibilities because I know that change is good and change opens the doors to serve in a different kind of way," Thomas told FOX 9.

Thomas says since starting during COVID-19, Nourish has fed about 60 to 70 families a week during its Saturday morning community distributions, with cars that often lined up down the street.

But over the last few months, Thomas says the number of people visiting the food shelf has more than tripled to nearly 300 families and the organization doesn't have enough room to store the additional food, cleaning supplies and baby items needed to meet the increased demand.

"While we are growing the church that we are housed in is waking up and starting to do more ministry and they need their space which kind of minimizes what we're able to do and the amount of space that we have," Thomas said.

Thomas believes the surge in Nourish's numbers is due to several other food shelves in the immediate area either closing or limiting the number of visits families can make.

Finding a suitable place to relocate in the same neighborhood would be an answer to Thomas' prayers.

"I would hope that if there is a building that is sitting empty, unused, that we could find a new home there. That it wouldn't just be an empty building. That it would be open to an organization, a group of people who would love and take care of it and appreciate it, for being able to provide a service, to help the community," Thomas said.

If you are building owner or know of a space that would help, contact Nourish through the Mount Olivet Food Lab here.