A public meeting last Wednesday marked the first of many steps for the Granite Falls food shelf to find a new home.

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A public meeting last Wednesday marked the first of many steps for the Granite Falls food shelf to find a new home.
The food shelf, which was not granted space in the tentative plans for the new Yellow Medicine County courthouse, is on the lookout for a space that not only serves their needs of supplying food to the underprivileged, but also at a low cost.
Part of the issue with funding arises from Prairie 5 only financing one food shelf location per county, choosing Canby as the Yellow Medicine County site many years ago. Therefore, all assistance for any additional food shelf sites has to be raised in full. But, as Family Services Director Rae Ann Keller-Aus pointed out, there is still a demand for a food shelf in the Granite Falls region of Yellow Medicine County.
“They are coming because they need it,” Keeler-Aus said.
The Ohliger’s building, which formally housed Granite Cleaners and So Busy, is currently the leading candidate for a building due to the proximity to the Government Center Building, which could offer snow and trash removal as a donation.
 However, with a monthly rent of $475 for the Ohliger building, the food shelf has been put in a corner of how to raise money for rent and continue to provide service without diminishing adequacy.
“We don’t want to lose donations,” Keeler-Aus said, adding that they would like additional money to support the new associated costs with renting a different space.
Other potential building ideas were offered up, including the Hoff building, Rock Haven, vacant storefronts on Prentice Street and the space currently used by the Granite Falls manor and nursing home, although at this point these were nothing more than suggestions.
Some desired amenities that the current space in the courthouse does not allow includes a waiting room area and handicap accessibility.
Currently, the county is offering the food shelf space in kind, but because it is not a county service, the new courthouse plans cannot include a food shelf that is designed to mostly cater to Granite Falls.
When asked if money could be raised to add to the new courthouse, County Commissioner John Berends pointed out that at a estimated $235 per square foot of new floor space in the new building, hundreds of thousands of dollars would have to obtained to include adequate space for a food shelf.