July Menu Makers: Green Beans

i Jul 1st Comments Off by

Menu Makers Features Green Bean Recipes in July

Use canned green beans (or stop by your local farmer’s market to get fresh green beans) for these delicious recipes! Either way, we would like to share some recipe ideas to help you put a new spin on some classic dishes. Bon appetite!

Green Bean Flyer

bacon beans  deep fried green beans  cold bean salad

The Menu Makers program at Neighbors, Inc. was created and is maintained by volunteers. Each month features a different product that can be found in our Food Shelf. Recipe sheets (along with the product) are distributed to Food Shelf clients throughout the month. If you have any recipes you’d like to share, please let us know! Upcoming features include: bananas, kale, zucchini & black beans.

Summer Meals

i Jun 24th Comments Off by

Summer Meals Program

The Summer Meals program, which serves hot food to children (up to 18 years old) at local schools, is in full swing. Find out what Summer Meals Program Coordinator, Jenna, had to say about it:

“My experience has been rewarding. To see kids thrive after watching them eat and knowing their bellies are full is rewarding. Sometimes this is the only meal they will receive for the day. The volunteers (who serve them) take pride in preparing the meals and making sure the children have items from every food group so they receive a well-balanced breakfast or lunch. I recommend volunteering for this program if you have never done it before. It’s a good place to start volunteering with Neighbors, Inc. because it’s quick, easy, fun, rewarding, and most of all – you get to interact with kids! It’s a great way to spend your Summer – knowing you made a difference in a child’s life.” – Jenna F.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can contact Jenna at:

Summer Meals Lunchbox

Volunteerism in a changing world – what does it mean for Neighbors?

i Jun 18th Comments Off by

Continuing Education Workshop for July:

Volunteerism in a changing world – what does it mean for Neighbors?

Neighbors started with 18 volunteers back in 1972. Today, Neighbors, Inc. has nearly 1,700 volunteers each year. Join us to learn about how people are changing the way they want to volunteer and how Neighbors can better prepare for this change.

Group Volunteers from Spartan Nash

Group Volunteers from Spartan Nash

Date: Thursday, July 9th

Time: 12 noon – 1pm *Light lunch provided.*

Location: Neighbors, Inc. (downstairs conference room)

Presenter: Zeeda Magnuson, Associate Director, HandsOn Twin Cities

RSVP: or 651-272-1133

Plant It Forward

i Jun 8th Comments Off by

Plant It Forward

Whether you are a Master Gardener, garden as a hobby or are just looking for an excuse to get outdoors this Summer, please consider “planting it forward.” Donate some of your produce to the Food Shelf at Neighbors, Inc. Delicious, healthy produce is an especially welcome addition to our Food Shelf offerings during the Summer and Fall. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be expensive at the grocery store. It is wonderful to be able to give clients the nutritious produce at Neighbors, Inc. We couldn’t do it without your help! Here are some ways you can help:

1. Donate excess produce directly to Neighbors’ Food Shelf.

Bring in extra produce from your garden. It doesn’t matter how much or how little. We appreciate it all. Our Food Shelf is located on the lower level of our building and donations are accepted from 8am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Need help transporting items to Neighbors? Give us a call and we can talk about arranging a pick-up.

Donating kale from his garden

A farmer donating kale

Recipe for Kale Chips submitted by Kenny Robinson, Manager at The St. Paul Grill:

  • Clean the kale and cut out the stocks leaving full leaves.
  • Lightly toss in virgin olive oil just enough to cover the leaves very lightly.
  • Add any seasoning you like, sweet, spicy, or just pepper and salt.
  • In a 350 degree oven bake until the kale is crispy, should only take about 5 minutes.

2. Start a Giving Garden.

The Twin Cities are proud to boast quite a few Giving Gardens! In fact, there are so many they formed their own network. Check out their Twitter handle @mngivinggardens to find out the latest news. If you are considering starting one, here is a great resource guide put together by Blue Cross Blue Shield:

  1. Participate in our “Plant It Forward” campaign.

In addition to a Giving Garden, your workplace can join our Plant It Forward program where employees bring produce from their own gardens in to work on a specified day and Neighbors will come and pick it up. CHS has a successful Plant it Forward program at their headquarter office in Inver Grove Heights.

 CHS Plant It Forward_Materials 1

  1. Visit a Farmer’s Market.

Did you know that if you can’t use all of the produce you purchase at a Farmer’s Market, you can donate it? Buy a dozen tomatoes but only need ten for your recipe? Look for our donation barrels at the South St. Paul, West St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights Farmer’s Markets to share the extras instead of throwing them. Not only are you shopping locally, but you can also support the Food Shelf at Neighbors, Inc. Find a Farmer’s Market location here:


Coffee Hour for Volunteers

Volunteers are so essential to Neighbors, Inc. and we could never be able to thank everyone enough for what they do. As a small token of our gratitude, please join us for snacks and a drink of your choice from the Black Sheep Coffee Shop. Space is limited to the first 50 response due to the capacity restriction of the coffee shop.

When: Tuesday, June 23rd

Time: 5pm – 6pm

Where: Black Sheet Coffee Shop, 705 Southview Blvd, South St. Paul, MN

Please email or call Kazoua to reserve your spot.
651-272-1133 or

June Menu Makers: Chocolate Cake Recipes

To complete the three month “sugar trilogy,” we are featuring yet another dessert product for our Menu Makers program in June: chocolate cake. These chocolate cake recipes will be distributed, along with a box of chocolate cake mix, to food shelf clients throughout the month of June. You can also get a copy of these delicious recipes by clicking on the link below. Enjoy! Chocolate Cake Mix Recipes and Photos

PB Chocolate  MM Logo   mint chocolate cookies


Multicultural Connections Between You & Your Neighbors

What: Continuing Education Program @ Neighbors, Inc.

“Multicultural Connections Between You & Your Neighbors”

When: June 11, 2015

Where: Conference Room (Lower Level)

Time: 12pm – 1pm (Light Lunch Provided)

Presenter: Leo Montes, Commerical Appraiser for the City of Minneapolis


Join us for an informative workshop on understanding your neighbors from different parts of the world. This is a great way to learn how to interact and accept the actions of people that are different from you. Open to all interns, volunteers & staff of Neighbors, Inc.


Questions? Contact Kazoua to sign-up or with questions at: or 651-272-1133

Open House on May 20th

Neighbors, Inc. – Open House

Featuring the River Heights Chamber of Commerce CoffeeNet networking event, SSP Police Department K9 Officer, South St Paul Jaycees, Speed Volunteering in the Food Shelf and Clothes Closet, Prizes, and Guided Tours!

Where:         Neighbors, Inc. 222 Grand Ave. W South St Paul, MN

When:           May 20, 2015

Time:             7:30 am – 5 pm

For more information please contact Kazoua at 651-272-1133 or


Princess Tea Party 2015

i May 13th Comments Off by

The room was bustling with princes and princesses for the first ever Neighbors’ Princess Tea Party. Guests wore their royal best – including party dresses, princess outfits, crowns, hats and gloves.

Meeting Princesses

Meeting Princesses

Pictures with Princesses

Pictures with Princesses

Dressed for Tea

Dressed for Tea


A dozen title-holding princesses from local and regional pageants around the state joined us for tea. They took   pictures with guests and signed autographs as well as taught us more about what being a true princess means. According to them, princesses are nice to everyone they meet and are kind both inside and out.

Learning about being a Princess

Learning about being a Princess

In addition to meeting princesses, guests enjoyed a catered brunch from Gina’s Homestyle Catering, imported Greek tea provided by Kotoni Tea, themed party games, crafts, and activities.


Tea decorations and centerpieces were provided by the Clothes Closet Thrift Store at Neighbors. Items used for decoration were available for purchase to attendees. Proceeds from this event, including merchandise sales, benefitted Neighbors, Inc.


Centerpieces from the Clothes Closet

Centerpieces from the Clothes Closet




A special thanks to Monica Buenzow Photography for taking & sharing wonderful photos from the event!



All of the Princes & Princesses

All of the Princes & Princesses

Neighbors Newsletter – Spring 2015

i May 8th Comments Off by

Spring 2015 Newsletter

May Menu Makers: Brownies!

Ooey, Gooey, Delicious Brownie Recipes are Featured in May

We are on a dessert kick at Neighbors! For a couple months in a row, our Menu Makers program will feature recipes for the final course of the meal: dessert! Check out all of the wonderful, chocolatey recipes submitted by volunteers, staff and friends of Neighbors by clicking below.

Hooray Flyers Brownie Mix Recipes

MM Logo

Menu Makers is a volunteer-run program in our Food Shelf which features recipes for either lesser-known food products or items we have in abundance. The program is a great way to share recipes with each other (clients, volunteers, and staff) and connect over cooking.

And the Food Fight Winner is….

Jersey’s Bar & Grill!

Jerseys logo

What people are saying about Jerseys:

“Service was great and (the) French Onion Juicy was very good.”

“A few of my girlfriends and I made this a girls night out and had lots of fun. My winner is Jersey’s!”

“This was a great event. We had lots of fun visiting the restaurants and will go back to all of them again.”

Congratulations, Jersey’s Bar & Grill and THANK YOU to all of our participating Food Fight restaurants for making this event a huge success and raising funds to support Neighbors, Inc. We hope to do it again next year!

cherokee B52s logo  5-8 Logo  logo-blvd_bar_grille

To learn more about the Great Neighbors’ Food Fight, click here.

April Menu Makers: Yellow Cake Mix

i Apr 4th Comments Off by

Looking for a last-minute idea for the perfect dessert to serve? Look no further! Our own Menu Makers recipe program has got you covered. We recently received a large donation of cake mixes in the Food Shelf & that got us thinking of (and baking) some of our favorite recipes. We’d like to share some with you. This list of recipes, along with the cake mix to make them, will be distributed to Food Shelf clients during the month of April. Happy baking!

Hooray Flyer Yellow Cake Mix Recipes

MM Logo

Volunteer Recognition: Bill K.

i Apr 2nd Comments Off by

Springing in with recognition, Neighbors is proud to recognize Food Shelf volunteer Bill K. for his dedication to volunteering. Thank you for everything you do! Here is what a fellow volunteer said about Bill: “Bill is usually here every Monday and Friday working on meat, cereal, and everything else. On Wednesday he came in to donate eggs from his brother’s farm [and] stayed all morning to help with a large meat donation [and] pick, even though he didn’t plan to stay.”

Now that’s dedication! Congratulations, Bill.

April Volunteer Cross Training: Food Shelf Sorter

i Apr 2nd Comments Off by

Neighbors, Inc. provides food to over 500 families a month – but how do they do that? Now is your chance to learn! In April, the Food Shelf is opening their doors and accepting volunteers to be Food Shelf Sorters for a day. No ongoing commitment necessary. Try it out – you’ll love it!

Available dates: any Monday through Friday in April (except April 3rd)

Available shifts: 8am – 12pm or 1pm – 4pm

If you’d like to sign up, please call or email Kazoua with your preferred dates/times at: 651-272-1133 /


SSP shoots for 55,075 lbs for MN FoodShare

i Mar 30th Comments Off by

The Star-Tribune’s Janice Bitters did a nice piece on South St Paul’s effort to raise our zip code (55,075 lbs.) for MN FoodShare this year.

Mn FoodShare Fun

i Mar 26th Comments Off by

March is MN FoodShare month and all kinds of people and creatures have been coming out to help us out this year.


A few sightings:

Molly Guthrey of the Pioneer Press did a piece on a potbellied pig in WSP that is fundraising for Neighbors’ food shelf

Vivint Central Station wrapped up their efforts by taping their boss Kendall to the wall with duct tape20150320_144159

The MN Historical Society held a fundraiser on St Patrick’s Day

Somerset Elementary School students raised just shy of 1,000 lbs. in food donations!IMG_5575


We are on our way to our goals of 55075 lbs in South St Paul and our organizational goal of 125,000 lbs.  Please help us out if you can.  The food and funds we raise now will support us through the summer when donations are harder to come by and there are so many new families and children in need as children are home from school.








April Continuing Education: Learning Hmong

Learning Hmong: A New Cultural Experience

Come to the workshop to learn more about your neighbors, the Hmong people. In this workshop you will learn basic Hmong words and the history of the Hmong people. Come join us for this exciting cultural learning experience. The workshop will be limited to 25 people. Please sign up with Kazoua by April 7th.

craftWhen: April 9, 2015

Time: Noon – 1pm

Location: Downstairs Conference Room at Neighbors, Inc.

Presenter: Bee Vang, Director of Hmong Language Program


To sign up, email or call Kazoua at 651-272-1133 or

Food Fight!

Five Local Restaurants Compete for “Best Burger”

And the Proceeds Benefit Neighbors, Inc.

Food Fight Logo

As part of his *ahem* journalistic duties, Adam Carter with Town Square TV, took the Food Fight journey and tried all five burgers from the participating restaurants (in just one day!) Check out his experience here:

Although we’re not sure we would recommend repeating his feat and stuffing yourself with burgers in a single day, here are some more thoughts (and photos!) of others’ Food Fight journeys:

My husband and I took on the Food Fight and turned it into five dates (without kids!) It was a great way to experience local restaurants and it was a good excuse to plan and go on dates. We had a wonderful experience and discovered we have some really delicious local food! (Not to mention friendly and accommodating servers, too.)  – Heidi S.

Enjoying one of our burger dates on the 5-8 Grill & Tap's patio.

Enjoying one of our burger dates on the 5-8 Grill & Tap’s patio.


The Food Fight is great for everyone involved. It helps a good cause, but it’s also an incredible deal for five meals. It combines some of my favorite hobbies: Eating food, trying new things, saving the world, not spending lots of money, and picking favorites! What’s not to like? – Scott A.

Delicious burgers!

B52Burgers Delicious burgers!


It gave us an opportunity to support a great cause but also to try some local establishments that we would not have gone to otherwise. There is a nice variety of places to try – the ambiance and the crowd were different at each. We will be going back to the participating places to try something else. – Lynn F.

Biting into a burger at Jersey's.

Biting into a burger at Jersey’s.


What a great experience the Great Neighbors’ Food Fight has been for us! We feel as though we are on an old fashion scavenger hunt as we go from restaurant to restaurant looking for THE best hamburger in our community. Once again, Neighbors, Inc. has come up with an idea to raise funds to help those in need and, at the same time, unite us all with a sense of pride for our community. – Sue H.

Sue's "Long-Standing Community Favorite" burger at Cherokee Tavern.

Sue’s “Long-Standing Community Favorite” burger at Cherokee Tavern.


For more information about the first (and hopefully not last) Great Neighbors’ Food Fight, click here. Competition ends April 4th. Voting closes April 10th.

This story will be featured on Town Square TV’s news-magazine show INSIGHT 7 from Thursday, March 12 until April 9th on Town Square Television Community Channel 14.






John Kemp Interviewed for Comcast Newsmakers

i Mar 4th Comments Off by

Neighbors’ Executive Director John Kemp was interviewed last week by Kevyn Burger for Comcast Newsmakers.  John discusses poverty in our area and Neighbors programs.