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.

Donations can also be left in the Donation Bins in the front of the Knollwood and West End Cub Foods as well as at Vista Lutheran Church on Tuesdays (until 5:00) or Saturdays (until 3:00).

Food Shelf Items For Donations

Meat and Protein

  • Canned and dry Beans (kidney, garbanzo, black, pinto, lentil)
  • Soup
  • Chili


  • Cereal
  • Pasta of all types
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Rice (brown, white, jasmine)
  • Flour/ Masa cornmeal

Canned Fruits and Vegetables

  • Spaghetti/ pasta sauce
  • Vegetables (low or no sodium)
  • Canned Tomatoes (diced, sauce, pasta, whole)
  • Applesauce
  • Fruit in juice (not syrup)


  • Spices
  • Cooking oil/olive oil
  • Red cider vinegar
  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce)
  • Coffee and tea
  • Salt, pepper

Household Items

  • Laundry soap
  • Dish soap
  • Cleaning supplies (general household cleaners)
  • Paper towels

Personal Care

  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Dental floss
  • Bar soap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Hand and body lotion
  • Female hygiene items
  • First aid supplies
  • Hand sanitizer

Baby Supplies

  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Formula
  • Diaper rash lotion
  • Baby food

Click here for STEP’s top 11 food drive list. 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

Since March, STEP’s Clothing Closet Program has been suspended. We remain committed to distributing warm winter coats to children in St. Louis Park during the month of October and we are now accepting donations of new or gently used winter coats, boots, and winter-wear items.

Monetary donations are always welcome and allow us to purchase items on an as-needed basis.

Click here for a downloadable flyer of our donations list and follow the links to our Amazon and Target wish lists to purchase online and have donations sent directly to us! For more information contact Mari at Mari@stepslp.org. Thank you!

STEP’s clothing closet program is currently suspended in the interest of community health and to prioritize addressing food needs. STEP will not accept donations other than warm winter coats and winter accessories until further notice. We encourage you to find other organizations to donate those items, such as:

Please drop off donations 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. Donations left outside the building when STEP is closed will be considered dumping and be referred to law enforcement.

Seasonal Donations

2021 Toy Distribution Program

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 9-18 (and still in high school).

Help us ensure that St. Louis Park children have a great holiday season by donating through our Amazon and Target wishlists. Click here for a downloadable flyer of our donations needs. Target gift cards and toys can also be brought to STEP’s red alley door during our business hours. Donations accepted until December 10. Please contact Mari-Claire with any questions about this program.

2021 Coat Distribution Program

Since March, STEP’s Clothing Closet Program has been suspended. We remain committed to distributing warm winter coats to children in St. Louis Park during the month of October and we are now accepting donations of new or gently used winter coats, boots, and winter-wear items.

Monetary donations are always welcome and allow us to purchase items on an as-needed basis. Click here for a downloadable flyer of our donations list and follow the links to our Amazon and Target wish lists to purchase online and have donations sent directly to us! For more information contact Mari at Mari@stepslp.org. Thank you!



Back to School Supply Drive

Each year, STEP provides hundreds of St. Louis Park students with much-needed school supplies. Although there is much uncertainty concerning the upcoming school year, STEP is committed to providing students with the tools needed to learn no matter the learning environment for the 2021/2022 school year. To ensure the safety of STEP clients, staff, and volunteers, the school supplies will be distributed on-site and on an ongoing basis rather than in one day.

Critically needed school supplies are:

  • 18″ backpack-any color
  • Glue sticks
  • Expo dry erase markers-black (fine tip)  and assorted colors (chisel or fine tip)
  • 1” binders
  • 2” binders
  • Crayola watercolor paints (8 primary colors)
  • Crayola washable markers (10 count and 8 count)
  • Crayola colored pencils
  • Pronged folders
  • Sharpie chisel tip highlighters
  • 3 ring pencil pouch
  • Pencil box
  • Pencil sharpeners

Monetary donations are always welcome and allow us to purchase items on an as-needed basis.

Click here for a downloadable flyer of our donations list and 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 through the end of August. For more information contact Mari at Mari@stepslp.org. Thank you!

Greta who collected 3 bags of school supplies at her birthday party.

Security Life community involvement team 50 backpacks and supplies for over 50 St. Louis Park student.

School supplies ordered online by donors through STEP’s Target wish list

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 Maryanne Abeid at maryanne@stepslp.org to let us know you’re holding a food drive and with any questions or needs. Click here for a food and Fund Drive Report Form

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 or 952-925-4899. 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 info@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 Empty Bowls, STEP in Steel Toe, and the CP Holiday Train follow.

STEP Up Breakfast

ABOUT THE EVENT: STEP will host the third annual breakfast gathering on September 17, 2021. Learn over breakfast about STEP’s programs that empower lives and inspire hope for our neighbors. Event is free to attend and breakfast is provided. Participants will be invited to donate to fuel STEP’s powerful programs.


  • Attend: Register Now!
  • Table captains: If you would like to be a table host and invite your friends and colleagues to breakfast please contact Faith Mainor at 952-208-8769 or faith@stepslp.org.
  • Sponsors: Sponsorships are still available. Contact Faith Mainor at 952-208-8769 or faith@stepslp.org with questions or if interested.

Empty Bowls

ABOUT THE EVENT: Since 2002, approximately 1,000 neighbors join for a simple meal of soup and bread provided by local businesses for lunch or dinner. The primary purpose of the event is to build awareness of food insecurity in our community. The event includes music entertainment and children’s activities. Participants receive a handmade pottery bowl to take home as a reminder of empty bowls in our community. A free-will donation benefits STEP programs.

In 2021, Empty Bowls will be a virtual event. Details to follow.


  • Event planning committee: Meets weekly for 2-3 months to plan all facets of STEP’s largest event.
  • Soup and bread donations: Local licensed establishments are invited to donate soup or bread. Donors will be acknowledged at the event.
  • Sponsors: There is a long-standing primary sponsor of the event. Sponsorships at the $250 and $1,000 levels are welcome. Sponsors will be acknowledged before, during, and after the event.

Contact info@stepslp.org if interested in committing in any way to Empty Bowls.

STEP in Steel Toe

Our annual event at Steel Toe has run for five years. In 2020, it was virtual.

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

This event has supported STEP’s homelessness prevention efforts, which has seen a significant increase in need due to high unemployment.

If you have any questions, please contact Faith Mainor 952-208-8769 or Faith@stepslp.org.

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

Holiday Train photos by Todd Pernsteiner, 2016

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.

In 2020, the Holiday Train was a virtual-only event. Details on whether the train will return in 2021 will be provided in October.


  • 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 info@stepslp.org if interested in committing in any way to the SLP Holiday Train stop.

Holiday Train photos by Todd Pernsteiner, 2016

STEP Donor Privacy Policy

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.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact STEP’s business manager at stepbusinessoffice@stepslp.org or 952-925-4899.

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