Tommie Food Shelf Mobile

Food Justice & Tommie Food Shelf

What is Tommie Shelf?

Catholic Social Teaching and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs call on all of Earth’s citizens to eradicate poverty and hunger, and the Center for the Common Good has heeds that call with curricular and co-curricular efforts. Tommie Shelf is both a grocery giveaway that benefits students, staff, faculty, and community members, and it is also a co-curricular opportunity for students to get involved in food justice through volunteerism and advocacy.

Grocery Giveaway

Universities across the country have come to recognize that, often, their students find themselves with less access to healthy foods than the average person. While there are many ways to address this foundational need, the University of St. Thomas is uniquely positioned to address this issue because of the Center for the Common Good’s strong community partnerships. The Center has partnered with three local non-profit Community Partners to bring two monthly grocery giveaways to campus.

On the first Tuesday of every month from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Facilities & Design Center on the St. Paul Campus, Tommie Shelf partners with Keystone Community Services to give away shelf-stable food and fresh produce to all who attend the event.

On the third Wednesday of every month from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. in Opus Hall (MOH) 201 on the Minneapolis Campus, Tommie Shelf partners with Good in the ‘Hood to give away shelf-stable food and fresh produce to members of the St. Thomas community. Unclaimed groceries from Minneapolis Tommie Shelf are donated to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Mutually beneficial partnerships are a foundational principle for the Center for the Common Good, and throughout the year, Tommie Shelf engages in fundraising, volunteerism, and food drives that benefit the above listed Community Partners who give so generously to those in our community. Tommie Shelf and the Community Partners who make Tommie Shelf possible have been supported by many in the St. Thomas community as well as those in the broader community, such as the West Summit Neighborhood Advisory Committee.

In 2020, Tommie Shelf partnered with Second Harvest Heartland to provide students with further food security through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) pre-screening and application assistance.

If you are interested in donating to Tommie Shelf and its partners, you can drop non-perishable groceries at the Anderson Student Center, Room 207, or donate to Tommie Shelf. If you have questions about accessing groceries through Tommie Shelf, or becoming a supporter, please email tommieshelf@stthomas.edu.

Tommie Shelf Crew

Tommie Shelf Crew is a co-curricular volunteer and advocacy group that invites students to advance food justice by joining in solidarity with their neighbors who don’t have access to healthy, affordable food. Tommie Shelf Crew students volunteer with Keystone Community Services and Pillsbury United Communities, reflect with each other in order to better understand the underlying systemic issues that impede access to food, and work with the Center for the Common Good’s Global Justice Movement to advocate for justice, equity and dignity in food access.

How can you get involved?

If you are interested in learning more about the Tommie Shelf Grocery Giveaway or the Tommie Shelf Crew, please email tommieshelf@stthomas.edu.