Pat Jarvi calls Mission Outpost at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville a “one-stop resource”—a place where families can get not only food, clothing and furniture, but also compassion and hope for the future.
“It’s very important that families feel their visit at Mission Outpost is filled with dignity,” says Pat.
Mission Outpost started in a small closet in the church in 2001 and has grown to a community operation that includes a large food shelf, a clothing closet, a garage and warehouse space. More than 200 volunteers serve approximately 1,000 families there each month.
For the past three years, the church has partnered with Salvation Army of Dakota County to expand the level of services to families in need. The partnership has allowed Mission Outpost to add space, fresh produce and other perishables to meet the growing demand in the community. Their goal is to give families an experience that is as close to a grocery store as possible.
Mission Outpost distributes up to 68,000 pounds of food each month, with support from local grocery partners, Second Harvest Heartland’s Food Rescue program and inventory system, as well as frequent produce drops. Mission Outpost also serves as an outreach center for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) support.
Joan Moes, Case Manager for Salvation Army of Dakota County, says the (their??) location inside Mission Outpost has been a godsend. “There is tremendous need in suburban areas,” she notes. “Every time we’re open, we see at least five new families. We hear from many people that they don’t know what they would do without this.”