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Food shelf in New Richland opens in renovated building

NEW RICHLAND — A food shelf that serves the needs of nearly 70 families on a monthly basis in a five-community area has opened in its new location.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the New Richland Area Food Shelf at 101 S. Broadway was Tuesday.

The new spot allows for the food shelf to have more space and increases handicap accessibility, said Pam and Larry Goehring, food shelf treasurer and president.

The food shelf is open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month and serves the needs of New Richland, Waldorf, Otisco, Hartland and Matawan area residents.

A ribbon is cut to signify the opening of the new location of the New Richland Area Food Shelf on Tuesday. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

A ribbon is cut to signify the opening of the new location of the New Richland Area Food Shelf on Tuesday. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

The food shelf offers fresh, frozen and canned foods and basic hygiene items free of charge to those in need.

The building, at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Division Street, originated in the late 1800s and was last modernized 100 years ago. It was donated to the food shelf and the New Richland Area Historical Society by the State Bank of New Richland. The Historical Society is in the front of the building.

NRHEG students helped in the process of refurbishing the building, along with hundreds of other volunteers.

The food shelf serves 320 to 330 people per month, said Larry Goehring.

“There would be quite a few individuals who would not be eating, that’s for sure,” he said. “It’s heartfelt for the fact of being able to help them.

“It’s very satisfying for us to do that.”

In helping with the food shelf, Pam Goehring said she is carrying on her family’s tradition.

“People don’t, for the most part, put themselves in the position to want to go to the food shelf,” she said. “They need to go. It’s not an easy choice to make for people, and to have it accessible and looking nice makes them feel more comfortable, and it makes us feel better offering help.”

The upstairs floor of the building is planned to house a conference room and provide storage, if more money is raised.

The food shelf, sponsored by 12 churches in the five-community region, delivers 80 backpacks packed with food each week to NRHEG Elementary School students in Ellendale.

Food shelf board member Dot Gonitzke urged anyone who needs assistance to visit the food shelf.

“Everybody needs somebody at times in their life,” she said.

Emergency appointments are available by calling 507-463-3421. Food donations can be sent to the Area Food Shelf of New Richland at P.O. Box 186, New Richland, MN, 56072. Donations can be brought to the food shelf or placed in a food barrel at Wagner Foods.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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