Donation helped make new home for food shelf possible

Jan 20, 2020

A recent celebration at the Quad City Food Shelf in Mountain Iron, Minnesota, showcased one of the many ways the Minnesota Power Foundation is helping to fight hunger.

A foundation grant of $10,000 helped the food shelf move from Gilbert to a new location in Mountain Iron late last year. Quad City was able to purchase the former Fastenal building and renovate it to better suit the needs of the food shelf and the people it serves.

The building in Mountain Iron offers more square footage, an expanded grocery store-style food space, and room for a thrift store. In addition to Mountain Iron and Gilbert, the Quad City area includes Virginia and Eveleth. An open house on Jan. 10 to thank donors and volunteers marked the change in address for the food shelf that serves an average of 482 households each month.

Fighting food insecurity is a priority for the MP Foundation, which gives thousands of dollars each year to food shelves and other hunger initiatives, and ALLETE employees who donate their time to help at food shelves and food banks or coordinate food drives and fundraisers in their workplaces. For example:

  • The MP Foundation also gave $5,000 to Sen. Tom Bakk’s Stock the Shelves event in December. The event raised more than $100,000 for food shelves in the Arrowhead region, and has raised more than $1.25 million since its inception in 2007. Minnesota Power has contributed $65,000 to Stock the Shelves since 2007.
  • Minnesota Power’s Northern Contributions Committee gave a total of $2,050 in December 2019 to six food shelves: Chisholm, Aurora, Ely, Quad City, Tower and International Falls food shelves.
  • Each March, Minnesota Power donates thousands of dollars to food shelves throughout the company’s service area during Minnesota FoodShare. Those receiving donations ranging from several hundred dollars to more than $1,500 include Salvation Army – Cloquet, CHUM, Salvation Army – Duluth, Family Pathways, Two Harbors Area Food Shelf, North Itasca Emergency Food Shelf, Deer River Food Shelf, Second Harvest North Central Food Shelf, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Aurora Food Shelf, Chisholm Food Shelf, Ely Food Shelf, Quad City Food Shelf, Falls Hunger Coalition, Tower Food Shelf, Aitkin Community Food Shelf, Akeley Community Food Shelf, Browerville Area Food Shelf, Cuyuna Range Food Shelf, Morrison County Food Shelf, Long Prairie Emergency Food Shelf, Menahga Food Shelf, Hubbard County DAC, Hubbard County Emergency Food Shelf, Lakes Area Food Shelf, Pierz Food Shelf, Pine River Area Food Shelf, Rice Area Food Shelf, Sebeka Food Shelf, Motley Food Shelf, Walker Food Shelf and Hackensack Food Shelf.

A thank-you note from the Morrison County Food Shelf in Little Falls is representative of the expressions of gratitude that Aimee Curtis, community relations and MP Foundation administrator, receives on behalf of the foundation and company.

“You did it again! You remembered the 450-plus families we serve each month at the Morrison County Food Shelf! Helping these families keep their cupboards full would never be possible without your help. I know how many deserving organizations must ask for your help, which is why I am so grateful you choose to help us year after year. Be assured that your generous gift will go toward March Food Share, which means your gift goes so much further. Thank you once again for all you do for the Morrison County Food Shelf. Your kindness and generosity will long be remembered.”

According to Feeding America, 1 in 11 people in Minnesota struggles with hunger.

Minnesota Power’s parent company, ALLETE, has entered an agreement to be acquired by a partnership led by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Global Infrastructure Partners and start the process to become a private company.

This transaction will not change our operations, strategy or shared purpose and values, and it is business as usual for all of us at Minnesota Power. Learn more at