- Associated Press - Monday, June 26, 2017

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - Whether due to convenience, budget-friendly pricing, or both, Fare For All has proven to be a popular option for grocery shoppers since first coming to Mankato in 2015.

The reduced price grocery service swings through town each month at New Creation World Outreach Church, giving cost-conscious consumers another option for stocking up on fresh veggies and select meats, the Mankato Free Press (https://bit.ly/2srSKSV ) reported.

The monthly demand has made Mankato one of the nonprofit’s top locations, drawing about 120 households on each visit.

“Our numbers have been growing and we have been one of the leading sites,” said Rachel Jones, part of Fare For All’s community leadership team. “And that’s just with this site.”

Some other Fare For All sites have satellite locations, while Mankato’s operates solely out of the church. Days when the discount Shoe Bus is also in town, like today, are especially popular.

The church today had a steady stream of customers walking from table to table to pick up packages including fruits, veggies and steaks - this month’s special item. Dustin Lenhoff, a Mankato father of three, said he likes the efficiency of the set up. He was in and out with his food within about 15 minutes during peak time.

He’s been coming to Fare For All for about a year, and said the pricing is certainly a major advantage. Produce costs $10 for 12 to 15 pounds, while a large meat package comes to $25.

“We’ll look and see what they’re selling things for here and compare it to what we pay weekly at the store,” Lenhoff said. “That way we can decide if it’s really a good deal for us or not.”

Another shopper, Lindsey Lueck of North Mankato, said her family gets excited when she brings the food boxes home. The meat options change each month, at times introducing the family to foods they wouldn’t usually buy at the store, like salmon.

“That’s something different that I would’ve never bought and tried, so I like that benefit to it too,” she said.

While interest in the service is strong, Jones said the leadership team hopes to introduce even more people to Fare For All in the future. They distribute flyers around town to try reach the people most in need of affordable food.

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Information from: The Free Press, https://www.mankatofreepress.com

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