STEP provides food and clothing; as well as information regarding transportation and housing services, and other community resources.

My name is Beth and I have been volunteering at STEP for over a year. Everyday that I come into STEP I am inspired and humbled to see the good work being done, and the dedicated commitment to helping others and serving the community that is shown by all staff and volunteers. I am honored to be a part of this community and I am thankful for the opportunity to contribute my energy and talents to their mission.

Perhaps it is my own personal history and fight for recovery from a severe eating disorder that partly explains why I so deeply value the acts of service and community building that STEP embodies. My eating disorder prevented me from being able to adequately satisfy my basic nutritional needs, as well as my social needs for feeling connected to and a part of something that is larger than myself. In my experience, if these needs are not being met the consequences to one's life and well-being are devastating.

I decided to reclaim my life from anorexia, and sought help at the Emily Program that offers individualized treatment for eating disorders. This was also how I came to know of STEP. The Emily Program has an office in St. Louis Park that partners with STEP. Patients at the Emily Program are given the opportunity to come to STEP to volunteer in the food shelf area.

Eating disorders cause one to lose perspective in life. My first experience at STEP opened my eyes. Food is nourishment that we all deserve, and it is essential if we are to live a good life. To see so many people at STEP devoting themselves to ensuring that families had enough to eat helped me to re-evaluate the role of food in my own life. Even more importantly, volunteering at STEP gave me that sense of connection that I had been missing. I was working with other people for a cause that was larger than any one of us. We were all contributing to uplifting each other and serving the greater good. This is why I continue to fight for recovery; this is why I live.

STEP is a wonderful program that offers help and support to individuals and families without judgment or discrimination. It is a welcoming environment full of friendly, caring and supportive people who are devoted to serving others. I see it every time I go there, and I am so grateful to be a part of this!

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