Today’s Harvest opens second location, Oakdale gets new ‘free food market’

Susan S. Johnson

Hoping to increase access to daily foods that include fresh vegetables and fruits, a new ‘free food market’ has opened in Oakdale.

Hoping to increase access to daily foods that include fresh vegetables and fruits, a new ‘free food market’ has opened in Oakdale to the public. 

Toady’s Harvest – an operating site for the Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS) since May 2021 – held its grand opening Tuesday morning at 8264 4th Street.

According to an announcement, the site will provide a free, rescued food market that’s stocked with items from Twin Cities grocery stores.

Less like a traditional food shelf and more like a modern supermarket, Today’s Harvest promotes an easy-access concept that doesn’t require patrons to register or offer identification to use its services. 

“The response to our first location, Today’s Harvest Oakdale South, has been so positive we decided to open our next outlet on the other side of the city,” CCEFS Executive Director Jessica Francis said in a statement. 

The walls of Today’s Harvest look less like a traditional food shelf and more like a modern supermarket.

According to Francis the market is serving up to 260 households daily, with shoppers coming from more than 135 different zip codes to date. 

“With rapidly rising food costs and living expenses, there is a growing number of people in the Twin Cities and beyond who are struggling to afford fresh and healthy food. The Today’s Harvest model provides a much-needed connection for free, fresh food that otherwise would go to waste,” Francis said.

Today’s Harvest is run primarily by volunteers and open six days a week – Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

“People are welcome to come back as often as they need to keep their refrigerators stocked,” Francis said.

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