Simpson Food Pantry

"Simpson Food Pantry, located in the Whittier Neighborhood, is feeding families and individuals with dignity and respect in South Minneapolis and all surrounding areas in the combat to end hunger."

The Simpson Food Pantry has been combating hunger for more than 70 years in the Whittier Neighborhood.  

Our new location is at 2609 Stevens Ave. S in Minneapolis, two blocks from our previous location.

Our History

Over 70 years ago, Simpson United Methodist Church, established in 1882, recognized the need to combat hunger in the South Minneapolis area. In the early 70’s a small area under the stairs in the basement of the church was commissioned as the Simpson Food Shelf, and they started serving some 30 guests a month who needed assistance with food insecurity.

By the early 2000’s, the 140-year-old Simpson Church building was literally disintegrating from the foundation to the steeple. It was deemed by the Simpson Congregation that it was no longer cost effective to continue to put more money toward trying to maintain the building. It was decided that their financial resources would be dedicated to the greater mission of Simpson Church to serve the needs of the South Minneapolis community into the future. The decision was made to close the church and donate the property to Simpson Housing Services (SHS). Shortly after that we had to evacuate the building because of boiler issues. At this point we had to find new locations for existing missions still at the church.

This enabled Simpson Food Pantry to expand into a larger and more efficient and accessible space, including space for other supportive services. Food storage, especially for fruits and vegetables became more viable. We are all on one level, with handicapped accessible ramps, and a waiting area on cold mornings!

food pantry volunteer moving boxes

In 2020 the tragic killing of George Floyd, just several blocks from Simpson, resulted in civil unrest and destruction in the area. The Simpson Food Pantry found itself in the middle of a “food desert.” With the rapid spread and economic impact of COVID 19, the Simpson Food Pantry became a central location for South Minneapolis and surrounding areas. Residents, both individuals and families, had to find support in the face of growing food insecurity. In a matter of months, the number of guests being served increased by four hundred percent.

The concern over food insecurity and the increasing need to fight hunger in the South Minneapolis community shows no signs of stopping. Over the last two years we have been involved with; the state, city, government agencies, local churches, MN Council of Ministries, pastors, former members, food banks, other pantries, and our community members to find a new location that could continue to serve our families and provide nutritious and culturally appropriate food.

We currently have partnered with Source MN, who has been providing to the same Whittier Community for the last 20 years. We are now an independent 501C3 nonprofit food shelf, Simpson Food Pantry, Inc. With our combined efforts, out of one location, that is handicapped accessible with a loading dock, we are serving over 2500 families monthly. We also have missions serving new immigrants, women’s drop in services, shuttle rides from the food shelf, weekly community meals, cooking classes, weekly homeless meals and outreach services.

We have always been able to give healthy calories with staples of protein, beans, rice, milk, potatoes, and fresh produce, along with eggs when we can. Simpson has provided a change over from 70-90% nonperishable (canned foods, boxed dinners) to 90% fresh and healthy food. This has in turn increased our costs, just as you see in your grocery bills.


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Get Involved

We are always grateful for our volunteers who like to greet and assist our guests, rotate, stock and clean shelves.