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. 

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 space adjacent to food shelf for administrative offices and volunteers.

2012

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

2013

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.

2014

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

2015

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.

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

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

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.

2018

Celebrated 35 years of serving the St. Croix Valley.

2019

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

2019

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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