6812 West Lake St., St. Louis Park, MN 55426 | Phone: 952-925-4899


Donate Now

Empower lives and restore hope to families and individuals in St. Louis Park with your financial commitment. Your gift makes a difference in ensuring somebody’s nutritional needs are met.

Thank you,
STEP Staff and Volunteers

Donate Today

via credit card or electronic check draft (ACH)
Your contribution makes STEP happen. Financial support keeps the lights on, pays for professional social workers, and sources nutritious food for St. Louis Park families.

Your donation is instrumental in eliminating hunger in our community. Our funding is overwhelmingly thanks to the generosity of people in the St. Louis Park area.

Sustained Monthly Giving

via credit card or electronic check draft (ACH)
Sustain STEP’s mission with a monthly gift. Sustaining Donors reduce STEP’s costs and allow us to efficiently dedicate funding to our direct programs.

Donate by Mail or in Person

Donations can be dropped off during our regular hours or mailed to St. Louis Park Emergency Program, 6812 W Lake St, St Louis Park, MN 55426.

Leave a Legacy: Be a Step Ahead

with a bequest to STEP
Ensure STEP will carry on by providing for STEP in your will, trust, life insurance policy, or retirement account. Bequests to STEP can either fund on-going operations or to grow our Legacy Fund (endowment) to ensure STEP has the resources to serve future generations in the community. Contact derek@stepslp.org or 952-925-4899 to inform us you are including STEP in your plans or if you need additional information.

Donate Stock, Employer Matching, Designate in Federated Campaigns, & More!

STEP can accept financial support in a multitude of ways. Please consider STEP when participating in workplace giving programs or if your employer matches gifts or volunteer time. Designate gifts to “St Louis Park Emergency Program, Inc.” Our tax ID is 51-0188692. Gifts of stock can be made by contacting derek@stepslp.org or 952-925-4899.

STEP is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization. Donations to STEP are tax deductible.

Donate Food

Be part of eliminating hunger in St. Louis Park. Help fill STEP’s food shelves with your own food drive. We rely heavily on community-led food drives, large and small.

What we need: STEP is in need of the everyday non- perishable and household items you use every day in your household. Think or your favorite meal ingredients, the spices you cook with all the time, and the healthy foods you and/or your family eat on a regular basis. We also need those every day non-food household items like toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and cleaning products.

What we don’t need: STEP does not accept perishable (refrigerated or frozen) items, used, open, damaged or outdated food. Please carefully check expiration dates before donating items to STEP.

Where to donate: Please drop off donations to STEP during our regular open hours at the back of the building. Pull up in the alley to the red door and ring the doorbell. A volunteer will answer, take your donations, and provide you with a receipt. If donating more than 200 pound of food , please call STEP to schedule a time to drop off the donation. 

Donations can also be left in the Donation Bins in front of the Knollwood and West End Cub Foods.

Want to do a specialty or theme drive? Contact Mari at Mari@stepslp.org for more information regarding Holiday food, Back to School food drives, or baby shower theme collections. Check out STEP’s guide to Organizing a Food Drive.

Beautiful produce brought in by Owen and his friend–and grown by them!

Beth El Synagogue and Benilde-St Margaret’s Friendship Garden.

Donate Clothing

The mission of STEP’s Clothes Closet is to serve the clothing needs of St. Louis Park families. STEP accepts donations of new and gently-used clothing and linens to distribute to families at no cost. To best serve St. Louis Park families, we ask that clothing and linens be clean, in good condition, and in season.

STEP often has an abundance of clothing items and limited storage space. For this reason, we ask people to limit their clothing donations to two garbage bags worth of clothes per week.

If you have questions, please call STEP ahead of time (952-925-4899) to double-check we can fully utilize your clothing donations.

Items generally most needed are:

  • Infant and Toddler clothing
  • Children’s & Teen clothing
  • Men’s clothing
  • Women’s clothing
  • Plus-size clothing
  • Blankets or Quilts
  • Bedding–sheets & pillowcases, all sizes
  • Socks
  • Shoes in good condition
  • New Underwear
  • Seasonal items–Winter Coats, Mittens, Hats, Scarves and Winter Boots

Donations can be dropped off at STEP during business hours.

Please note that STEP does not accept donations of furniture, dishes, other household items, or used toys. We encourage you to find other organizations to donate clothing items, such as:

Please drop off donations during our business hours at the back of the building. Pull up in the alley to our donor door and ring the doorbell. A volunteer will answer, take your donations, and provide you with a receipt. Donations left outside the building when STEP is closed will be considered dumping and be referred to law enforcement. Food, clothing, and other donations are vital to STEP’s mission.

Monetary donations are always welcome and allow us to purchase items on an as-needed basis. For more information contact Mari at Mari@stepslp.org. Thank you!

Seasonal Donations

2023 Coat Distribution Program

STEP’s Clothing Closet Program is now open. Starting in October, STEP distributes warm winter coats to St. Louis Park clients throughout the winter months.

Current winter coat needs:

  • Men’s size S
  • Men’s size M
  • Women’s size 2XL
  • Women’s size 3XL
  • Mens/Womens/Childrens winter boots (any size)
  • Warm Winter gloves for both kids and adults
  • Warm Scarves for both kids and adults

Please drop off donations during our regular open hours at the back of the building October-March. Pull up in the alley to our donor door and ring the doorbell. A volunteer will answer, take your donations, and provide you with a receipt if needed. Donations left outside the building when STEP is closed will be considered dumping and be referred to law enforcement. For more information contact Sarah. Thank you!

2023 Toy Donation Needs

The holidays can be an especially financially challenging time for families.

Help ease this burden on your SLP neighbors by donating to our annual Toy Distribution Program. This year’s program will consist of in-person toy shopping for infants-8 years old and Target gift cards for children ages 9-17.

Help us ensure that St. Louis Park children have a great holiday season by donating through our Amazon and Target wishlists. Target gift cards and toys can also be brought to STEP’s donation door in our alley during our business hours. Donations accepted until December 14. STEP does not accept stocking stuffer donations or violent toys. Please contact Mari with any questions about this program.

2024 Back to School Program

Each year, STEP provides hundreds of St. Louis Park students with much-needed school supplies and backpacks. Monetary donations are always welcome and allow us to purchase items on an as-needed basis. Follow the links to our Amazon and Target wish lists to purchase online and have donations sent directly to us!

Donations can be dropped off at STEP during our regular office hours by August 12. For more information contact Mari at Mari@stepslp.org. Thank you!

Organizing a Food Drive

Getting Started

  • Decide if there is a small group that can help you organize the drive.
  • Decide if you will raise food, money or both.
  • Decide what type of drive you want to stage, such as a party or a competition. THEN, SET A GOAL!
  • Agree on the drive’s length. Will it be for 1 day? One week? 2-3 weeks?

Getting Ready

  • Send out memos, phone messages, newsletters and e-mails to promote the drive. Plan special theme days such as Meal Monday, Tuna Tuesday, etc. Sponsor competitions
  • between teams, classes or departments or plan a special event to encourage giving.
  • Consider arranging a Hunger Awareness Day at the start of or during your drive. Request a speaker from STEP.
  • Acquire and decorate boxes for food collection.
  • Place the boxes in convenient and visible areas. Arrange to store them during the drive.


  • Update participants on the amount of food and funds you’ve collected through a sign in a high traffic area, announcements in meetings and newsletters, or e-mail.
  • Send out creative messages to keep people excited about reaching the goals.
  • Coordinate volunteers to pack food properly at the end of the drive. Load and transport it to STEP.

When the Drive is Over

  • Deliver your food and/or funds to STEP during office hours.
  • Include the Food and Fund Drive Report Form with your contact information.
  • Share drive results with all participants. Send thank-you letters. Throw a party. Make awards to celebrate efforts.
  • Still want more ideas?

Foster Competition

  • Have departments, classrooms, or teams compete against each other to see who can collect the most. Friendly competition adds energy to a drive and helps people remember to donate.
  • Offer rewards to top donors (for example: pizza parties, gift certificates donated by local businesses, a front-row parking space for a month). Let employees wear jeans to work each day they donate a canned good: “Can Suits,” “Beans for Jeans.”
  • Assign specific foods from the “Most-Wanted Foods” list to each team. Or give a prize to the group that donates a well-balanced collection of foods.
  • Encourage teams to choose a mascot, motto, team name or cheers. The sillier, the better!

Give Your Creative Spirit an Outlet

  • Make colorful posters noting the specifics of your food drive. Include STEP’s “Most-Wanted Foods” list and facts and figures about hunger. Display posters or reminders in restrooms, hallways, lunchrooms, classrooms or hang on doorknobs.
  • Create a giant thermometer or can to measure progress toward your goal. Place the thermometer or can in the front lobby, employee break room, or other area where it will be seen.
  • Identify your drive with a name such as “Gifts from the Heart,” “Feed the Need”, etc.
  • Decorate bags for participants to take home, fill with food and return.
  • Design a paycheck stuffer with information about the drive.
  • Designate theme days. Fill a playpen with infant formula on Monday. Plant a “garden” in the lobby with canned vegetables on Tuesday, etc.
  • Via your e-mail system or public address system, distribute a hunger fact for each day of the drive. Quiz people at random and hand out little prizes to people who remember the facts.

Make it an Event

  • Kick off your drive with opening day festivities. Be wacky, informational or inspirational.
  • How about a silent auction? Nothing drives up cash donations like the enticement of a massage, dinner for two to a local restaurant, or home made items.
  • Bake sales, pie-throwing contests and car washes are tried and true food-and fund-raisers.

Contact Mari-Claire Dart to let us know you’re holding a food drive and with any questions or needs.

Host a fundraiser

STEP is truly a collaborative community effort. We are supported by many individuals, groups, businesses, and faith communities that fundraise on behalf of STEP’s mission.

Often STEP is a designated beneficiary of community events. Free will donations of food or money are solicited and donated to STEP. It’s as easy as putting out a hat or jar. People have asked for donations for STEP at birthday celebrations, class reunions, workplace holiday parties, wedding receptions, and backyard concerts. Please consider including STEP in your future events.

Or make STEP the reason for the event! Contact mari@stepslp.org or 952-925-4899 to discuss ways you can work with us to put together a fun event for STEP. Recent examples include a bridge tournament or vocal concert.

Laura and Dave chose to “Kiss for a Cause” at their wedding. Instead of clinking glasses, guests were encouraged to drop a donation in the kiss jar.

Legacy Giving

Be a Step Ahead – Plan for STEP’s Future

Through the years, STEP has provided basic needs and touched lives of St Louis Park residents in extraordinary ways. You can help ensure that this vital service is here for future generations by giving a gift to STEP through your will or estate plan.

STEP’s Legacy Goal to Build to a Fund of $3 Million by 2028 Would Fund 20% of Our Annual Programing.

Planned gifts are donations made to STEP as part of a donor’s overall financial or estate plan. With a little forethought and planning you can make a significant gift to STEP without affecting your lifestyle or your family’s security.

Planned giving is an option for virtually anyone at any age or financial circumstance.

By using common financial tools — insurance policies, retirement accounts, trusts, charitable gift annuities, and more — you can maximize your assets and leave a larger legacy than you might have imagined. In doing so, you play a vital role in the future of STEP.

Secure STEP’s Ability to Serve the Community for Generations to Come

By planning your giving to STEP, you provide for the community’s future. Thanks to previous donors, STEP has created a Legacy Fund to provide earnings for future year’s programming.

Your gift can help STEP reach our goal for long-term resources to weather future challenges. Your gift can grow our Legacy Fund or you may choose to direct the gift for a specific purpose. STEP will work with you to determine the best ways to fulfill your goals.

 Common Legacy Gift Options

  • Retirement plan assets
    Qualified retirement plan assets are popular planned gift vehicles due to the unique tax advantages they present and the ease with which a donor can update disbursement instructions.
  • Life insurance gifts
    In addition to ensuring the financial well-being of your loved ones, a life insurance policy is a powerful philanthropic tool for you and STEP. Moreover, the gift arrangement can often be made with little or no additional long-term costs to you.
  • Include STEP in your will or trust
    Gifts from a will or living trust are among the most common and most impactful planned gifts.
  • Make a gift and receive income
    If you’ve ever wanted to make a significant gift to STEP but didn’t want to sacrifice potential income from the gifted assets, a “life income gift” might be right for you.

Join Our Legacy Circle and be a Step Ahead for Future Generations

Get started today:
  1. Make the arrangements.
    Designate STEP in your will, life insurance, or retirement plan. Information you may need to use: Legal name: St Louis Park Emergency Program, Inc
    Tax ID#: 51-0188692
    Address: 6812 W Lake St, St Louis Park MN 55426.
  2. Notify STEP.
    Contact Derek at derek@stepslp.org. You decide how much to share about your plans whether or not to be publicly listed as part of STEP’s Legacy Circle.

For further details or assistance with making a planned gift, please contact STEP: 952-925-4899 or derek@STEPslp.org

Legacy Circle

Appreciating those who have made a planned giving commitment.

Valerie Bartl
Ruth Berg*
Elizabeth Furber*
John Huber
Julie Huber
Cindy Jurgensen


Marilyn Karasov
Vernon Nelson*
Dick Parsons
Shari Parsons
Curt Rahman
Sue Santa

Anonymous (3)

Join in STEP’s Annual Events

STEP has wonderful opportunities to get involved in community events in support of our mission. We have opportunities for event planning, event volunteering, in-kind donations, and sponsorship. Details on STEP’s Cocktails and Canapés, STEP in Steel Toe, and the CP Holiday Train follow.

Westwood Neighborhood Association Group Tour Registration

ABOUT THE EVENT: Please join Derek Reise, STEP’s Executive Director, for a group information tour of STEP’s facilities.

Register now.

Please email Jacks Michaud with questions.

Cocktails & Canapés

ABOUT THE EVENT: Now in its third year, STEP’s Cocktails & Canapés fundraising event brings the community together to support STEP’S programs. This year’s event will be held on June 12, 2024 at St. Louis Park’s beloved Westwood Hills Nature Center from 5:30-7:30pm. 


  • Attend: While this event is free to attend, registration is required and will close once we reach capacity. RSVP here, or email us at mari@stepslp.org.
  • Sponsors: Sponsorships are still available. Contact Derek Reise at derek@stepslp.org with questions or if interested.

If you are unable to attend the event but would like to support STEP’s efforts, you can make a donation here.

Empty Bowls









After more than 20 years STEP held the last Empty Bowls event in 2020. Thank you to the community for making this such a great event over the years.

STEP in Steel Toe










Our annual event at Steel Toe has run for seven years.

Information on the next event at Steel Toe will be posted here when available.

If you have any questions, please contact Derek.

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

ABOUT THE EVENT: The mission of the CP Holiday Train is to combat food insecurity in local communities. One thousand feet of 14 brightly decorated rail cars pulls into the community and stops in order to provide a pop-open concert from one of the cars. The Holiday Train has stopped three years in a row in St. Louis Park–right in front of STEP. Thousands of people from St. Louis Park and beyond came out on a cold day to see the spectacle of the train and participate in the pre-train festivities.


  • Sponsors: Sponsorship levels for the St. Louis Park stop and pre-train festivities range between $250 and $5,000.
  • Vendors: Businesses and nonprofits are invited to provide a service, product, or activity that would be a good fit for the event. Vendors would be charged a small fee or could be part of a sponsorship level.
  • Volunteers: There will be need for day-of volunteers to collect food and financial donations, as well as helping to orient attendees.

Contact Derek if interested in committing in any way to the SLP Holiday Train stop.

Holiday Train photos by Todd Pernsteiner, 2016

STEP Donor Privacy Policy

STEP Donor Privacy Policy

The St. Louis Park Emergency Program (STEP) is committed to respecting the privacy of our donors. We have developed this privacy policy to ensure our donors that donor information collected both online and offline will not be shared with any third party.

STEP provides this Donor Privacy Policy to make you aware of our privacy policy and to inform you of the way your information is used. We do not ask for your personal information unless we truly need it. We will not sell, share or trade our donors’ names or personal information with any other entity. We will not send mailings to our donors on behalf of any other organization.

This policy applies to all donor information received online at www.stepslp.org, as well as any written or oral communications. STEP collects donor information both online and offline through donations, event registrations, subscribing to our email list, and volunteer activities. The type of donor information collected varies based on purpose of collection, but often includes name, email, postal address, phone number, employer, donation information, volunteer activities, and correspondence notes. STEP uses this information to provide information about STEP programs and operations, register for events, coordinate volunteer activities, and to solicit and process donations. If STEP utilizes a third party to process donations, our donors’ information will only be used for the purposes of processing the donation.

In order to change incorrect information or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact STEP at info@stepslp.org or 952-925-4899.

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