COVID-19 Safety Update by Explore Minnesota

Giving Back During Times of Crisis: How You Can Help Minneapolis Northwest Nonprofits

Minneapolis Northwest is proud of its nonprofits dedicated to serving the communities we love. In times of crisis, we pull together to stay strong and ensure everyone is looked out for. There are many ways to give back and provide assistance to those in need. Here are a few options in the Minneapolis Northwest area.


CEAP, Community Emergency Assistance Programs, mobilizes resources, shares abundance and nourishes neighbors to create and celebrate a healthier, stronger and connected community. This is a big undertaking in normal times and is especially challenging during a pandemic. CEAP has pivoted its strategy to find new, safe ways of providing assistance to the communities. CEAP is now delivering 1,700 frozen meals to senior neighbors every two weeks through the Meals on Wheels program, while also making daily phone calls to each senior to check on them.

CEAP is also providing pre-packed “CEAP Essentials” groceries to every neighbor who needs access to food. This is done in a safe, no-contact way that prioritizes the health and safety of the employees, volunteers, and participants. CEAP also is in need of everyday non-perishable food and household items, such as laundry and dish soap, paper towels, cleaning supplies, toothpaste and toothbrushes, dental floss, deodorant, and baby wipes, diapers and formula. Consider a donation to CEAP, which goes a long way. For example, a donation of $50 provides two weeks of nutritious, comforting ingredients for a family of four.

CEAP continues to depend on a core group of volunteers during this time. Volunteers are assisting in the packing of CEAP Essentials, sorting food rescue, and providing curbside grocery service to participants. Extra measures are taken to ensure the wellness and safety of staff and volunteers, including wearing a mask (one is provided if you don’t have one), washing hands hourly, and maintaining social distancing. If you are interested in volunteering at CEAP, we are currently looking for volunteers for specific days and times! Here are our current volunteer opportunities:

  • Grocery packing: Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12 to 3 p.m.
  • Curbside grocery pick-up: Monday – Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Food receiving/sorting: Monday – Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12 to 3:30 p.m.

Please indicate your interest by sending an email to or call the CEAP Volunteer Coordinator at 763-450-3679.


CAPI USA is an immigrant-led nonprofit in Brooklyn Center. Originally called The Centre for Asian and Pacific Islanders, the organization was founded in 1982 and began as a food shelf serving refugees arriving in the aftermath of the Vietnam conflict. Today CAPI serves refugees, immigrants, and low-income people of color in the Twin Cities. It’s core programs are designed to help refugees and immigrants gain access to jobs, housing, food, health education, and youth and senior social services. CAPI offers nutritious, culturally-specific food shelves while serving as a gateway to resources that move people toward greater economic stability and health.

CAPI’s food shelf is serving anyone in need of food assistance on Wednesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. for curbside pickup and senior delivery. Deliveries are going to over 100 seniors in the community every other week. CAPI continues to see the numbers climb at the food shelf as more and more people struggle with job and income loss during the COVID-19 crisis. Thankfully, many partners and volunteers have contributed with monetary donations, food, and cloth masks so CAPI can continue to meet the pressing needs in the community. Consider making a donation; contact CAPI today.

CAPI Headquarters
5930 Brooklyn Boulevard
Brooklyn Center, MN 55429

CAPI Food Shelf
5930 Brooklyn Blvd
Brooklyn Center, MN 55429

CAPI Second Location
3702 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406

CAPI at Hennepin County Northwest Service Hub
7051 Brooklyn Blvd, Minneapolis MN 55429

Second Harvest Heartland

As the demand for emergency food assistance rises to historic levels, Second Harvest Heartland strives to answer the call. The organization works around the clock to get much-needed food to local families, partner food shelves, and other hunger-relief programs. From March 16 to May 18, Second Harvest delivered more than 19 million pounds of food, set up 22 emergency farmers markets, and distributed more than 95 thousand emergency boxes (8 meals per box!). While long-term volunteer projects with Second Harvest Heartland are paused, you can still support the organization immediately by registering for a food packing shift or making a donation — a gift of $25 provides food for a family of 4 for a week!

To volunteer for food packing, you must be 18+, your temperature must be 100 degrees or less, you have not left the state of MN in 14 days, and you must be illness-free, including COVID-19 or Influenza A or B. Volunteers are screened prior to their shifts and must bring a mask with them. Volunteers will sort, repackage and label items such as fresh produce, canned or boxed goods, and dry goods like rice into consumer-size packages. Once sorted, Second Harvest Heartland distributes these items to agency partners that serve our hungry neighbors. Food-packing shifts are available at Second Harvest’s Brooklyn Park location: 7101 Winnetka Ave N. Sign up online today.

Also, help spread the word: the organization’s MealConnect program is an innovative online platform that gives caterers, special event centers, restaurants, corporate cafeterias and other commercial food preparers a convenient, free and safe way to reduce waste and connect surplus meals with food needs in the community. Donations are either collected directly by a meal program partner or collected and delivered by a trained volunteer. If you would like to start donating excess prepared food from your food service operations, please call Dianne Wortz, Food Rescue Emerging Streams Developer, at 612.618.8145.

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