CHUM Food Shelf

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CHUM Emergency Food Shelf

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The Emergency Food Shelf was organized in 1979 by the Duluth Food and Nutrition Council as a means to distribute food to families affected by the serious economic recession of the late 1970s. The Shelf became the responsibility of CHUM in 1981 and expanded to a second site in West Duluth in 1982 and a third site in Lakeside in 2012.

The Food Shelf operates with the philosophy that people in need of food should have access to this most fundamental of human needs. We strive to respond to the need for food in a manner that is compassionate and promotes respect for the individual, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, disability, or lifestyle.

The food shelf provides a five-day food order for people without food or the resources to buy food and advocacy services connecting people to community resources (e.g. shelter, medical care, children's services, employment, clothing, and emergency monies). Staff, along with approximately 100 volunteers, distribute 260,000 pounds of food annually. An average of 570 households receive emergency food each month; roughly 37% of those fed are children.

Foods Most Needed

pears, fruit cocktail, pineapple, mandarin oranges, chicken noodle & cream of mushroom soup, peanut butter, tuna, spam, Spaghettios, chili, stew, chunky soups, Pasta sides, rice-a-roni & ramen, cold cereal, pork and beans.


CHUM is a member of Hunger Solutions Minnesota, a statewide organization dedicated to ending hunger. For information on how you can help advocate for Minnesotans with food insecurities visit Hunger Solutions Newsroom.

Duluth Emergency Food Shelf Newsletter is published twice annually. This link brings you to a PDF of the most recent newsletter.

Annual Food/Fund Drives

The Food Shelf is funded by community contributions and grants. Three major fund/food drives are held each year in partnership with other area food distribution agencies.

October SHARE Community Food Drive is a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors is generally held the 4th Saturday of October. Churches, youth groups, Boy Scouts, students, families, and community organizations participate in this community-wide effort to stock local food shelves.

Minnesota FoodShare's March Campaign is extremely important because it provides incentive dollars for donations of food and cash throughout the month of March. It is held during the time of year when food supplies are lowest throughout the year. March is a big month for the CHUM Food Shelf as forty-five percent of the operating budget, including food costs, are contributed through this campaign.

The May National Association of Letter Carriers Drive takes place the second Saturday of May and is the largest food drive in the United States. It offers an opportunity to increase food shelf inventories for the summer when donations traditionally decrease. Volunteers from all walks of life are engaged in this food drive to assist the Letter Carriers throughout the day.

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For more information regarding the Food Shelf, contact Meg Kearns

USDA Non-discrimination statement: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer."

Upcoming Events

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Lakeside Food Shelf
Faith Lutheran Church at 1814 N 51st Ave. E.
Food Distribution
East Food Shelf
120 N. 1st Ave West
Food Distribution
Wednesday Evening3:306:30
East Food Shelf
Donations Accepted
West Food Shelf
Our Savior's Lutheran Church
at 4831 Grand Ave.
Food Distribution
West Food Shelf
Donations Accepted