December’s Positive Change recipient is Hallie Q. Brown Community Center (HQB), a Saint Paul-based nonprofit social service agency open to all. HQB continues to improve quality of life in Saint Paul by providing access to critical human services and programs while honoring African American heritage and culture. HQB operates a food shelf, a clothing closet, senior programming, affordable childcare and youth education services to meet the diverse needs of Saint Paul’s multicultural community.
Hunger relief is a key focus of HQB’s mission, since it is an area with the greatest impact on people’s daily lives, affecting a multitude of lifestyle issues ranging from physical and mental health, to school and work performance, to relationships with others. In addition to staple pantry items, HQB’s food shelf offers clients access to fresh bread, produce and other items donated by local groceries, including Mississippi Market. Throughout the year, shoppers who donate food at our Selby and West 7th stores are directly supporting the HQB food shelf.
December Positive Change funds will support their food shelf, ensuring it remains fully staffed and stocked with nutritional, culturally specific foods to meet the diverse dietary needs of their clients. HQB’s food shelf, located a few blocks north of our Selby location, serves over 18,000 clients annually, roughly 50% of whom are families with children.
Due to COVID-19, HQB has seen an over 400% increase in food-shelf usage since March 2020. They have also expanded to serve as a food hub for the Twin Cities, serving between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds of food to other community partners every month.