Our History

What started as the St. Croix Valley Food Shelf in 1983 has grown into the place our neighbors turn to during challenging times—whether they need food, clothing or a deeper level of support. Valley Outreach has learned a lot over the years, but nothing more important than this: everybody needs help. As long as there is need, we will be here—taking care of our community, and making us all a little healthier, stronger and more stable. 


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.


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.


Second part-time staff member hired when the number of families using the services increased significantly.


Dawn’s Closet and Emergency Fund added to the services provided.


Changed name to Valley Outreach to reflect all services offered.


Moved to current facility on Curve Crest Boulevard in Stillwater.


Expanded into space adjacent to food shelf for administrative offices and volunteers.


Added a Resource Advisor to assist clients in working toward greater stability.


Rebranded organization to highlight all our programs. Introduced Snack Pack program for elementary students during the school year. Debuted the Better Shelf for Better Health model in our Food Shelf, promoting fruits, vegetables and whole foods through improved layout and revised shopping list.


Introduced Mobile Choice program, which provides clients with limited mobility the option to have food delivered to their homes.


Debuted Fill (Y)our Closet: a pop-up sale with a purpose to sell excess inventory from our clothing program to raise money to purchase new socks and underwear.


Piloted a mini-market at a local junior high school.


Purchased our building at 1901 Curve Crest Blvd. in Stillwater, MN, ensuring long-term stability.


Accepted transfer of a successful case management program, Ascend, from the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, also in Stillwater.


Started a monthly produce distribution program with the first site at a local junior high school.


Remodeled client lobby, adding an ADA accessible bathroom, offices, and space for clients.


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.


Celebrated 35 years of serving the St. Croix Valley.


Paid off mortgage on Curve Crest Boulevard facility through a generous donation from local funder.


Expanded clothing program to serve all clients and renamed the Clothing Closet to StyleXchange.

Honoring Dawn Beedle through our clothing program

Dawn Beedle was the visionary who initiated the clothing program. Having recognized an unmet need in our community, she created Dawn’s Closet and in 2005, she partnered with Valley Outreach. Originally offering only career wear to women, the program expanded to provide clothing for the entire family. A tireless advocate, and committed volunteer, Dawn spent years serving others through various board of directors’ roles and community leadership positions. Dawn passed away in the fall of 2007, yet her energy and her legacy carry on through the strength of the current program.

Valley Outreach

Valley Outreach

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