Perham Area Food Shelf


If the need arises please visit the Perham Area Community Food Shelf at 501 4th Ave NW in Perham, MN  We are open each Tuesday from 8 am - noon. And each first Tuesday of the month in the afternoon from 3 - 6 pm.  

Call us at 218/346-6181 for hours and additional information.  

  • No income level requirement
  • Serving residents in Perham and the Perham/Dent School District.
  • Our approach is one of client choice allowing visitors to shop as in a grocery store selecting needed food items.




Perham Food Shelf is considered an emergency food service, providing food to clients in the Perham-Dent School District once a month. Most families visit the food shelf an estimated five times a year.

Perham Food Shelf has an average of 30 visitors each week. Multiply that by the “average family” size of three, and it means the food shelf feeds an estimated 90 people each week. “When you are really hungry, nothing else matters,” Leikness says.

Unlike most food shelves, which give clients a pre-packed box of food, Perham has been utilizing a client choice system for more than two years. In this system, each client ‘shops’ the store, choosing a certain number of items from each section, depending on family size.

For example, a family of three can choose two items from the baking goods section, three items from canned meats, three from cereal, three from frozen meats and so on. At the end, the cart is pushed onto a ground scale to measure the weight for food shelf records.

Leikness said that in the past the community has been quick to help the food shelf meet its needs.

“It’s amazing what this community does,” Leikness said.

For those who want to help the Perham Food Shelf bring nonperishable items on Tuesday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon, during normal open hours. Local grocery stores also have collection boxes.

As a rule, cash donations stretch further than food because the Perham Food Shelf purchases items from North County Food Bank, which has a purchasing power of three to one. This means every $1 donation buys $3 worth of food.

Monetary donations can be mailed to PO Box 7, Perham, MN 56573, or dropped off at the food shelf.  The Food Shelf is located at *501 4th Ave NW, in Perham.