Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Mission Statement:

By utilizing and bringing together community resources the Willmar Area Food Shelf will provide food assistance to individuals and families. Our goal is to insure no one goes hungry.


In 1982, representatives of local churches and social service agencies started a temporary emergency food program for the needy. They envisioned the program to last about five years. The first meeting to discuss the possibility of establishing a food shelf was held February 22, 1982. On April 28, 1982 the plan was announced to the public. To everyone’s surprise donations of money, food, and equipment came pouring in. On July 6, 1982 articles of incorporation were signed.

The first home for WAFS was located in the South 71 Plaza then a short time later WAFS moved to 414 Becker Ave SW. In May 1986 the food shelf moved to 106 Sixth St SW and in November 2004 it moved to 624 Pacific Ave SW, where it currently resides.

In September 2009 WAFS opened a branch office in New London, located at 206 Main St N, (the old clinic). In June 2012 the WAFS voted to officially name the branch office The New London Area Food Shelf.

In the first year approximately 60 households were served per month. An average of 833

households were served per month in 2012, an increase of over 10% from 2011.

2011 Service Statistics:

Families Served – 9,274

Adults – 17,024

Children – 12,008

65+ - 686

Food Distributed – 873,635 lbs.

2012 Service Statistics:

Families Served – 9,959

Adults – 18,164

Children – 14,080

65+ - 1,038

Food Distributed – 1,008,365 lbs.

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