MARCH FOOD DRIVE IS FEB 27 - APRIL 9TH. LEARN HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED TODAY.

Student Portal

Backpacks for All

United Way Action Day (5)
CHS Field housed a total 12,000 backpacks to be packed with supplies and distributed to Twin Cities families.

Stacks of notebooks, folders, crayons, markers, and boxes of colored pencils were laid out across tables at CHS Field in downtown St. Paul. At the end of each station of school supplies: backpacks ready to be filled by the line of nearly 4,000 volunteers, more than half of the baseball park’s seating capacity.

This was Greater Twin Cities United Way Action Day, and Neighborhood House is thankful to be one of 24 partners and beneficiaries helping provide school supplies to Twin Cities students.

United Way Action Day (16)
Volunteers packing backpacks at supply stations set up behind the CHS Field seating area.

For many of us, the back-to-school shopping season is a familiar yearly routine, coming and going almost as swiftly as the summer itself. But why does that matter to Neighborhood House families, the bigger picture of poverty, and the costs of education?

According to the 2017 Huntington Bank Backpack Index, parents can expect to pay $662 per elementary school student, $1,001 per middle school student, and $1,489 per high school student over the school year just to meet the required supplies and other fees. In a study by Deloitte, a family in the Midwest could spend $443 per child on school supplies and clothing during the back-to-school shopping season alone.

As a result, the back-to-school shopping season can bring added financial and emotional stress to St. Paul’s most vulnerable families, including those we serve. In 2016, our Family Centers served 686 families in crisis–many of whom needed assistance with basic needs such as rent, utilities and food support.

When low-income families are forced to make tough financial decisions to meet their basic needs, it’s harder to prepare their children for school and invest in the essentials for class.

As we head into the school year, providing something as simple as a backpack with pencils and notebooks can bring comfort to our families. Thanks to the generosity of Action Day, we were able to fill a U-Haul with 1,500 backpacks for our annual School Supplies Drive. These backpacks will help St. Paul students in our community ranging from elementary school children to high school-aged teens.

1,500 backpacks is enough to fill a U-Haul truck!
1,500 backpacks are enough to fill a U-Haul truck!

As the summer comes to a close, we are thankful to have friends and volunteers give our community members supplies for the upcoming school year. In our efforts to meet the many needs of St. Paul families, we are thrilled to help send children to school with everything they need for class and we’re honored to have the support of the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s Action Day.

Two different lines for backpacks and school supplies at the Wellstone Center rotunda
Two lines for backpacks and school supplies at the Wellstone Center rotunda.

8/23/17

Please fill out and submit the form below to contact us.

Che Lia Lee | Early Childhood Instructor

Che Lia is a 2022 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Anthropology program, where she also served on the Multicultural Education Coalition. Prior to her time at Neighborhood House, Che Lia spent the previous five years working in elementary schools and early education classrooms.

  • Che Lia leads Small Steps Child Care classes, working with dual-language learning children ages one to five years old.

Fluent in English and Hmong, Che Lia’s personal interests include hiking, cooking, and spending time with loved ones.

Maiyer Thor | Child Development Specialist

Maiyer has been with Neighborhood House since 2020 when she served as an intern with the Food Market.

In 2021, Maiyer was hired to work at Neighborhood House and now conducts all online and home-based learning sessions, tailoring all lessons to each students’ individualized needs. She also assists in Skills for School preschool classes. Maiyer brings several years of experience as an early childhood teacher for other nonprofits to her role at Neighborhood House.

  • Maiyer earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from St. Catherine University.
  • She is a certified user of the Keys to Interactive Parenting Scale (KIPS)

Fluent in English and Hmong, Maiyer is the daughter of immigrants and the mother of three young children.

Valerie Dorschner | Early Childhood Instructor

Valerie has worked at Neighborhood House since 2004.

Valerie leads the Skills for School preschool program and is responsible for the curriculum. She has over 20 years of experience in early childhood working with parents and children, and has training and experience working with neurodiverse and dual language students.

  • Valerie is a licensed teacher with a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of St. Thomas.
  • She holds licenses in elementary education and in early childhood education, and has several years of experience
    teaching elementary school.

Valerie enjoys her free time with her five children and one grandchild.

Amanda Williams | Parent and Early Childhood Education Program Manager

Amanda has served at Neighborhood House since 2014.

As the Parent and Early Childhood Education Program Manager, Amanda ensures the program continues to be culturally competent, responsive, and meets the needs of immigrant and under-resourced families with young children. She has
over 12 years of experience overseeing children and family programming in crisis nurseries, shelters, and early childhood education centers.

  • Amanda earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and Child Psychology from Metropolitan State University and is an
    alumni of a local nonprofit emerging leaders academy.
  • She is trained in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s), Psychological First Aid, Adult Mental Health First Aid, and has
    completed Parents as Teachers Foundational training.

In her free time, Amanda enjoys traveling, visiting museums, exploring the outdoors, and trying out new local restaurants.

Victoria Campoverde

Victoria Campoverde is the program manager of Neighborhood House’s Latino Leadership Program. She is originally from Peru and was a licensed high school teacher in her home country.

Her extensive experience within the education sector exemplifies her commitment to education and families.

  • Currently, she serves as the Cultural Liaison between Columbia Heights School District and Anoka-Hennepin School District.
  • In 2008 Victoria began working with The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s Latino Leadership Program on adapting their curriculum for the Latinx community. Since then, she has continued working in the Latino Leadership Program after its 2020 transition to Neighborhood House.
  • Coauthor of Education: Our Best Legacy (EOBL), a school success program designed for parents or caregivers with one or more children in middle school. EOBL is part of the Partnering for School Success project (PSS) with the University of Minnesota’s Extension program.
  • Lead teacher and Program Director at Joyce Preschool.
  • A 25 on the Rise, Latino Leader recipient from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2006.
  • Facilitator with different Latino parent programs in the Twin Cities.
  • President of Kuyayki Peru MN Cultural Association.

For Victoria it is important to value ones culture and cultivate ones heritage. She believes in the importance of empowering the community through her work with Neighborhood House and the Latino Leadership Program. During her free time Victoria enjoys dancing.

Winter / Spring Fresh Produce Distributions Events*

(November – May) take place at Metro State University in St. Paul. During each event, we distribute approximately 4,000-7,000 pounds of food to approximately 100 families on average.

For additional questions about the Food Markets, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Event guideline and details: Our fresh produce events are open to everyone!

  • Requirements: Not a thing, just yourself. An identification is not required to attend.
  • Recommendations: You will want to bring your own bags and a cart if you have one.
  • COVID-19: This event is held indoors, masks are encouraged.
  • Please note that your fist visit will require an onsite registration process that will take 5-10 minutes to complete.
  • Parking: You can park in the Metro State ramp parking for $5. Otherwise, street parking is available along 7th St. and Bates Avenue.
  • If available, please consider brining your own reusable bags. On average our visitors take home around 40 pounds of food. 

Location

Metropolitan State University

(Student Center Room)
101 690 E 7th St
St. Paul, MN 55106

DATES – EVERY 2ND WEDNESDAY

FROM JANUARY TO MAY
1/11, 2/8, 3/8, 4/12, 5/10
HOURS: 2:30PM – 4:00PM

 

* Weather permitting – If there are thunderstorms or excessive heat warnings, we may cancel the event and / or events. For more information and event cancellation updates, please call (651) 789-3630.

Still have questions? Kindly email Cassandra Kienbaum, Food Support Manager. 

Summer / Fall distributions* (Summer 2022)

From July to October, all are welcome to come pick up a variety of free fruits and vegetables for family and friends at all four locations. 

The distributions are held outdoors and are farmer’s market style. Events are open to all. No documentation or identification is required to participate.

For additional questions about Food Support, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page

Event guideline and details: Our fresh produce events are open to everyone!

  • Requirements: Not a thing, just yourself. An identification is not required to attend.
  • Recommendations: You will want to bring your own bags and a cart if you have one. On average, visitors will leave with approximately 40 pounds of fresh produce per event. 
  • Please note that your fist visit will require an onsite registration process that will take 5-10 minutes to complete.
  • Parking: You can on the street at most of our locations. At the Wellstone Center, you may park in our ramp.
 

Locations

The Wellstone Center*

179 Robie Street
St. Paul, MN 55107

Dates

Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday
From July to October
7/13, 7/27, 8/10, 8/24, 9/14, 9/28, 10/12
Hours: 1pm – 2:30pm

No event on 10/26

Dayton's Bluff Elementary*

262 Bates Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55106

Dates

Every 2nd Thursday
From July to October
7/14, 8/11,  9/8, 10/13
Hours: 2:30pm – 4pm

Francis Basket Food Market*

1293 East Maynard Drive #410
St. Paul, MN 55116

Dates

Every 4th Monday
From July to October
7/25, 8/22, 9/26, 10/24
Hours: 2pm – 3pm

John A Johnson Elementary*

740 York Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55106

Dates

Every 3rd Thursday
From July to October
7/21, 8/18, 9/15, 10/20
Hours: 2:30pm – 4pm

* Weather permitting – If there are thunderstorms or excessive heat warnings, we may cancel the event and / or events. For more information and event cancellation updates, please call (651) 789-3630.

Still have questions? Kindly email Cassie Kienbaum, Food Support Program Manager.

Food Market Location

Francis Basket

1293 East Maynard Drive #410
St Paul, MN 55116
Phone: (651) 699-0986

Building Hours

Monday

9AM – 11:30AM

Tuesday & Friday

9AM – 11:30AM
1PM – 3:30PM

Highland / Sibley Manor

Food Market Location

The Wellstone Center

179 Robie Street
St. Paul, MN 55107
Phone: (651) 789-2500
Food Market Info: (651) 789-3630

Appointment Scheduling Hours

Monday – Friday

9AM – 4PM

Appointment Scheduling Hours

Monday – Friday

9AM – 11:30AM

1PM – 3:30PM

Wellstone Center Food Market

St. Paul Music Academy

27 Geranium Avenue East
St Paul, MN 55117
Service Connect: (651) 789-3602

Building Hours

Monday – Friday

9AM – 4PM

St. Paul Music Academy

John A. Johnson Elementary

740 York Avenue
St Paul, MN 55106
Service Connect: (651) 789-3602

Building Hours

Monday – Friday

9AM – 4PM

John A. Johnson Elementary

Highland / Sibley Manor Apartments

1300 West Maynard Drive
St Paul, MN 55116
Service Connect: (651) 789-3602

Building Hours

Monday – Friday

9AM – 4PM

Highland / Sibley Manor

Dayton's Bluff Elementary

262 Bates Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55106
Service Connect: (651) 789-3602

Building Hours

Monday – Friday

9AM – 4PM

Dayton's Bluff Elementary

Bruce Vento Elementary

409 Case Avenue East
St Paul, MN 55130
Service Connect: (651) 789-3602

Building Hours

Monday – Friday

9AM – 4PM

Bruce Vento Elementary

Main Campus

The Wellstone Center

179 Robie Street
St. Paul, MN 55107
Main Phone: (651) 789-2500
Service Connect: (651) 789-3602
Food Market Info: (651) 789-3630

Building Hours

Monday – Friday

8AM – 9PM

Saturday

8AM – 4PM

Sunday

NOON – 5PM

The Wellstone Center

Parking

The Wellstone Center Parking Ramp is located on the west side of the main building. The ramp has three levels with one elevator bank. Take the elevator to the first floor and follow the signs towards the information desk.
Parking is free.

Note: Building hours may be adjusted due to holidays, emergencies, program changes or weather. Check our website homepage and social media for possible building hour changes.