Minneapolis Northwest is proud to support several 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 canned goods
Photo Credit: CEAP

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 has been especially challenging during the pandemic. 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.

During this time, CEAP has pivoted its strategy to find new, safe ways of providing assistance to the communities. Volunteers deliver 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 provides 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 donations
​Photo Credit: CEAP

Non-perishable foods are needed, including peanut butter and jelly, cereal, canned meats and canned meats, fruits, and vegetables, potatoes, pasta, rice, and dried beans. Every day household items are always in demand, including laundry and dish soap, paper towels, cleaning supplies, toothpaste and toothbrushes, dental floss, deodorant, and baby wipes, diapers and formula.

Volunteers assist in packing 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. Below are specific dates and times that volunteers are needed:

  • Grocery packing: Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12 to 3:30 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 volunteer@ceap.com or call the CEAP Volunteer Coordinator at 763-450-3679.

CEAP donations2

The CEAP Community Challenge runs March 1 through April 11! For every pound of food or dollar amount raised, Minnesota FoodShare will provide a proportional match. There are several ways you can show support for your neighbors. Check out the CEAP Action Kit for information and resources. Ways to help:

  1. Host a food drive
  2. Virtual food drive via GiveMN
  3. Volunteer at CEAP
  4. Contribute a monetary donation


CAPI fresh produce
Photo Credit: CAPI USA

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 food shelf
Photo Credit: CAPI USA

Last year, CAPI's food shelf went from serving 2,000 individuals to 15,000. The need will continue to rise as the effects of the pandemic continue to upset our neighbors and our communities. March 1 through April 11, you're invited to join CAPI in the fight against hunger as part of Minnesota FoodShare's March Campaign. Host a food drive or contribute a monetary donation to the food shelf, and share your story on social media and encourage others to support CAPI during this campaign. 

CAPI food shelf needs
Image Credit: CAPI USA

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. Volunteers are provided with gloves, hand sanitizer, and masks when needed. All grocery deliveries are contactless. Food shelf volunteers are needed to box groceries for curbside pickup, box groceries for senior delivery, and unload food shipments and restock shelves. CAPI's Food Shelf Hours:

  • Tuesdays - 1 - 4 p.m.
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays - 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.; 1 - 4 p.m.

Each summer and early autumn, CAPI distributes more than 70,000 pounds of fresh produce to the community during Fresh Produce Fridays. Volunteers are needed to greet individuals, record intake, bag produce, assist with transporting produce, and set up/take down.

CAPI volunteers
Photo Credit: CAPI USA

CAPI Headquarters and Food Shelf
5930 Brooklyn Boulevard
Brooklyn Center, MN 55429
Email: info@capiusa.org

CAPI at Hennepin County Northwest Service Hub
7051 Brooklyn Blvd, Minneapolis MN 55429
Email: info@capiusa.org

Twin Cities World Refugee Day promo image

Second Harvest Heartland

Second Harvest volunteers
Photo Credit: 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. 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 — just $1 can provide 3 meals! And a gift of $25 provides food for a family of 4 for a week!

During the pandemic, Second Harvest Heartland continues to address the increasing hunger crisis with:

  • Increased distribution with emergency and extra food deliveries
  • Emergency food boxes allow people to get the food they need
  • Emergency grocery store pop-ups - free drive-up events across the region
  • Providing meals and supplies for Twin Cities communities after the destruction of local grocery stores
  • Meals from Minnesota Central Kitchen distributing meals from local caterers and restaurants
  • Access to SNAP (Food Stamps)
  • Extra measure to keep volunteers and the food safe, including rigorous cleaning routines

Second Harvest food drive
Photo Credit: Second Harvest Heartland

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.

Second Harvest food
Photo Credit: Second Harvest Heartland

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 Jeremy Stickney, Food Service Program Manager, at 612-618-8145.

CROSS Services

CROSS volunteers
Photo Credit: CROSS Services

CROSS Services is a nonprofit organization providing food support and social services to families and individuals living in Maple Grove, Rogers, Osseo, and surrounding areas. CROSS serves more than 5,000 people each month and distributes more than one million pounds of food to local families each year. CROSS workers and volunteers demonstrate how every individual can help others, collaboration to strengthen the community, and offer words and actions that bring hope and joy. Those in need can access CROSS' food assistance and financial assistance programs, Meals on Wheels, various kids programs, and the Clothing & Home Shop. CROSS works with local businesses on fundraisers, toy drives, corporate giving and more. 

There are many ways to get involved with CROSS. To become a volunteer, attend a tour of the facility and fill out a Volunteer Application (available online or at the tour). Positions include Reception Volunteer, Meals on Wheels Driver, Event Planning Volunteer, Client Support Specialist, Administrative Assistant, Grant Writer and more. 

CROSS Services
Photo Credit: CROSS Services