Director’s Message

About Natalie Oswald, Director

I’ve been volunteering at the food bank now for 8 years.  They welcomed me with warm hearts, open arms, lots of laughter, and oh yeah, lots of work!  Working with Fran and all the volunteers has truly been a blessing to me.  It wasn’t until I spent the day with Fran, the Director, and Mary, a volunteer for over 18 years, that I realized that I was actually homeless myself when I was a Junior in High School.  Although, my parents and I lived in a motor home, we didn’t have an address, therefore we were homeless, like many of our clients.  My parents did a great job of making me feel safe and more like it was an adventure, than a bad time in our life.  For that I’m very grateful.  I can relate to our clients because I can see now how easily a few bad choices, an illness, or a loss of a job can change your whole living situation. I feel lucky that I get to meet some of the donors, experience their kindness, and then see how grateful our clients are when they receive those donations.

We celebrated our 20th year in 2013. Maltby Food Bank has come a long way because of our community. We gratefully thank you for everything you do to help care for our families.  We are one of the best food banks I know. Thank you for your very caring hearts, help when needed, and your financial support.

Our goal has always been CLIENTS FIRST. It is our weekly focus to show everyone kindness and respect and to help them any way we can. We are able to provide staples, meat, dairy products, produce and items not covered with food stamps. Our local community and businesses help us each year to provide backpacks filled with school supplies, birthday bags for children 1-12, diapers and pet food. During the holidays you help provide food, senior gift cards, new toys, socks, hats and gloves. Thanks to everyone who donates turkeys and hams for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once someone told Fran that we do too much for our families and her response was “would you trade places with any of them?”  It is not our job to judge, but instead to help, encourage and listen.

Director, Natalie
About Fran Walster and Maltby Food Bank History

   During prayer the Lord gave me a vision to start a food bank.  With the help and prayers of 4 women, we contacted all the local churches in Maltby telling them of the vision and asking for their help.  Three churches responded. Maltby Christian Assembly, Maltby Congregational Church and Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church.  Our official name was and still is Maltby Food Bank.
Our first place was a vandalized mom & pop grocery store on Yew Way called the Maltby Mercantile.  We wrote to the local businesses and many responded with materials to remodel the building.  It was completed in December and we officially open January 1993.  It has been an amazing journey these past 20 years.
We started with 14 volunteers and now have over 60 doing various jobs.  We served 15 families the first month and now serve close to 130 every week.  We were donated a van for pickups twice a week and now we have two donated trucks that picks up 7 days a week.
It has been a life changing experience for me.  My relationship with Jesus has grown so much. I learned trust, faith, the meaning of being His servant and greater compassion.  I am forever thankful to Him for choosing me to start the Maltby Food Bank.
I know how it was. I was once a single mom with 3 little girls. There was no food bank available back then.  I want our community to know there is a place they can come to during hard times.  We are located in an area that is filled with caring people.  We would not be what we are today, without this community.
I loved what I did.  Maltby Food Bank was my volunteer job that I loved with all my heart. I loved talking with the clients and listening to their stories and needs. We couldn’t always help them with all their struggles, but we could give them a listening ear and pray with them if they wanted us too.  The food bank was my joy, my passion and I like the person I have become.  I am a better human being today and I am blessed to be one part of this caring, amazing group of volunteers.  Thank you guys, you are the best!!
Fran Walster

Food Bank Statement Of Purpose

The Maltby Food Bank is an independent, non-profit organization. Through advocacy and actions, Maltby Food Bank reaches out to people in need through God’s love.

Our goal is to establish a food bank in Maltby that helps meet people’s physical needs. To share Christ with our neighbors and bring them to him.

Our objective is to fulfill the purpose of his will. To provide food to people in need. To share Christ with people by showing his love and by praying for their needs, and to give encouragement where needed.

ISAIAH 58: 10, 11 “If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones. You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”