Valley Outreach's Mission & Goals
Our Mission: Valley
Outreach is a bridge between the crisis of the moment and the solution of the
future. We help our St. Croix Valley neighbors in need of food, clothing,
emergency financial assistance, and other support while respecting their
individual dignity and offering them encouragement and hope.
Welcome to Valley Outreach!
Valley Outreach is a community-based human service organization in Stillwater, Minnesota, offering programs for all ages across our service area. Our programs include a food shelf, clothing closet and emergency assistance fund. Additionally, a snack pack program provides weekend meals for students on free or reduced lunch. Our programs are complemented with resource referrals and advising, which guides our clients to a more sustainable level of independence and self-sufficiency.
Our services are free to eligible St. Croix Valley residents, and are provided in a welcoming and non-judgmental manner that maintains our clients’ dignity. We utilize a service delivery model in each of our programs, specifically designed to demonstrate our focus on respect, support and empowerment. At Valley Outreach, we believe that the manner in which we serve our clients is just as important as the services that we provide. Integral to our success and growth are our partners, other local nonprofits, community foundations, faith communities, and a strong network of committed volunteers.
Our service area spans the Stillwater Area School District. Eligible Clothing Closet and Emergency Assistance clients must reside within the Stillwater Area School District (I.S.D. #834). Anyone in need of food is welcome to our Food Shelf.
Valley Outreach Timeline
1983 - St. Croix Valley Food Shelf (SCVFS) was founded as an independent 501(c)3 in conjunction with the St. Croix Ministerial Association. SCVFS was operated by church volunteers and Family Means staff.
1995 – SCVFS moved from a trailer in the Family Means parking lot on Myrtle to its own site near Stillwater Bowl in Oak Park Heights. First staff member hired part-time.
2000 – Second part-time staff member hired when the number of families using the services increased significantly.
2005 – Dawn’s Closet and Emergency Fund added to the services provided.
2005 – Changed name to Valley Outreach to reflect all services offered.
2007 – Moved to current facility on Curve Crest Boulevard in Stillwater.
2011 – Expanded into adjacent space to make room for a Demonstration Kitchen and space for volunteers.
2012 – Added a Resource Advisor to assist clients making the next step to self-sufficiency.
2013 – Rebranded organization to recognize all programs under the Valley Outreach umbrella – Food Shelf, Clothing Closet and Emergency Fund. Launched new logo and website. Piloted new Snack Pack program, providing weekend foods to elementary school students in need throughout the school year. Debuted the newly design Better Shelf for Better Health model in our Food Shelf, promoting fruits, vegetables and whole foods through improved layout and revised shopping list.
2014 – Piloted Mobile Choice program, which provided clients with limited mobility due to age, health and/or disability the option to have their food delivered to their home.
2015 – Debuted fill (y)our closet: a POP-UP sale with a purpose, a sale of excess overstock and vintage clothing items open to the public. 100% of the proceeds go directly back to fund the Clothing Closet.
2015 - Piloted a mini-market at a local junior high school.
2015 - Purchased our building at 1901 Curve Crest Blvd. in Stillwater, MN, ensuring long-term stability.
2016 - Accepted transfer of a successful case management program, Ascend, from the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, also in Stillwater.
2016 - Started a monthly produce distribution program with the first site at a local junior high school.
2017 - Remodel client lobby, adding an ADA accessible bathroom, offices, and space for clients.
2017 - Started a second monthly produce distribution in Bayport.
2017 - In partnership with HealthPartners, The Food Group, and University of Minnesota Extension and Department of Family Medicine, introduce the Super Shelf program (a refined model built out of Better Shelf for Better Health) and begin evaluation with National Institute for Health grant funds.