“A lot of new people that we’ve never seen before. That’s been one our biggest things,” said SACA Food Shelf Co-Director Dave Rudolph.
But, not all of their clients have cars, and fewer are getting a ride with a friend than before the pandemic. The Metropolitan Council found a way to help.
In this case, those goods are food. A few times a week at SACA, the Anoka County Transit Link stops by to pick up a food order and deliver it. Transit Link is a joint service between Anoka County Transit and Metropolitan Council.
This is one of five food shelves in the county that had teamed up with Transit Link to get more food to more people. Transit Link will still schedule trips to bring people anywhere they can’t get on a fixed-route bus line, but for now, food deliveries are keeping some drivers busy.
“A year ago, I never would have thought I’d be delivering food,” said driver Wayne Mahto. “We do a lot more food deliveries now than we do passengers.”
The service is also available at grocery stores that offer curbside pickup. In that case, clients pay for their own groceries, but the delivery service is still free. In November and December of 2020, more than 1,000 food deliveries were made. They hope to keep offering this service as long as it is needed.
“It’s been a good thing,” said Rudolph. “It’s really helped out a lot people that we would have had a hard time getting food to.”
Anoka County Transit Link will deliver food from most area food shelves, and any grocery store that offers curbside pickup. Orders can be scheduled up to a week in advance.