Community Resources for Non-Traditional Students

Beyond the resources offered on campus for non-traditional students, there are a variety of community resources available that may serve nontraditional students as well. Below is a list of additional resources to address nontraditional students' needs.

Echo Food Shelf

Serving Blue Earth County and North Mankato residents. To register for assistance, attend in person and bring proof of identity (driver’s license or photo id). Once registered you can make an appointment to use the shelf and choose your items (similar to a grocery store). Each household can visit 12 times per year (July 1-June 30). If phones are busy, please keep trying walk-ins always welcome. Call to register or schedule an appointment.

Telephone: 507-345-7508

1014 S Front St

Mankato MN 56001

Visit Their Website

SNAP Outreach

Provides federal food support program enrollment assistance and information about food support, screening and application assistance. Provided by Second Harvest Heartland and University of Minnesota Extension.

Second Harvest SNAP Outreach Specialists:

Tina England: 507-514-3535

Kate Abram: 651-209-7910

MN Extension SNAP-Educator:

Rachel Jones: 507-304-4141

Visit Their Second Harvest Website

Visit Their MSU Website

Fare For All

No requirements-- Save up to 40% on your monthly groceries. Purchase discounted meats, veggies, and general grocery packages. Monthly pick up at New Creation World Outreach Church. Fare for All accepts cash, credit, debit, and EBT cards.

Telephone: 1-800-582-4291

New Creation World Outreach Church

1124 N. River Drive

Mankato MN 56001

Visit Their Website

Feeding our Communities Partners

A nonprofit organization focused on ending local hunger; they oversee the following programs:

  • Backpack Food Program: serving over 900 area elementary students within Blue Earth County on weekends and during school breaks. Grades kindergarten to 5th grade.
  • Power Pack Program: 6th to 8th grade who are in need of food during afterschool based activities and weekend relief.

Telephone: 507-720-8511


Visit Their Website

Farmer’s Markets

Find a local farmers market, learn about SNAP/EBT and Market Bucks at farmers markets, and make the most of your Farmer’s Market shopping experience. Eat healthy on a budget.

Visit Their Website

Commodity Supplemental Foods Program (CSFP)

CSFP is a United States Department of Agriculture supplemental food and nutrition program that is designed to provide healthy and nutritious food each month at no cost to eligible individuals. NAPS is the name of CSFP in Minnesota.

Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS): Men and women over age 60. Provides a monthly food package.

Visit Their Website

Food for All

Food for All is our food program that is funded by the proceeds from the Neighborhood Thrift Store. Everyone is welcome to attend with no paperwork necessary. The cost is $5 cash per family and you will need to bring a basket, box or tote to carry your food. We have a group of volunteers available to help carry the food to your vehicle upon request. We purchase the food for this program locally and serve the Greater Mankato Area, keeping all of our proceeds and service local. Food for All program distribution takes place the second Saturday of each month; while distribution begins at 9:30 AM, guests are welcome to arrive at 8:30 AM to line up early.

New Creation World Outreach Church

Mankato, MN 56001

Distribution Location:

Goodrich Construction

1700 3rd Ave.

Telephone: 507-625-7228

Visit Their Website

Women’s Infants and Children (WIC) Program

Women can apply for assistance while pregnant, for their newborn or their children up to age 5.

Nicollet County:

Health and Human Services Building

Distribution Location:

622 South Front Street

St. Peter, MN 56082

Telephone: 507-934-8262

Note: Nicollet County also provides WIC services at 2070 Howard Drive, North Mankato every Tuesday of the month. The WIC office is closed on Fridays.

Blue Earth County:

410 S. 5th Street

Mankato, MN 56001

Telephone: 507-304-4163

Visit Their Website

Community Supper

Hosted Wednesday Night from 5:00-6:00 pm at Christ the King Lutheran Church. Free of charge.

Telephone: 507-345-5056

Christ the King Lutheran Church

207 McConnell Street

Mankato, MN 56001

Visit Their Website

Holy Grounds

Free hot breakfast is available Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM-11:00 AM starting in late October and continuing through the end of March. Facilities are available for showers; personal care items are provided.

Centenary United Methodist Church

501 South Second Street

Mankato MN 56001

Telephone: (507) 225-6370

Visit Their Website

Hot Meals on Wheels

Dedicated VINE volunteers deliver a nutritious noon meal each weekday to people who find it difficult to shop for or prepare their meals. There are no age or income requirements; our program serves those in need of healthy nutrition. Meal recipients also benefit from a valuable safety check each day. If something is amiss, VINE staff quickly responds to get needed help.

Serving cities: Mankato, North Mankato, Skyline, Le Hillier, and Eagle Lake.

VINE Faith In Action

421 East Hickory Street

Mankato, MN 56001

Telephone: 507-387-4076

Visit Their Website

Salvation Army's Noon Meal Program

Free noon meal served 7 days a week from 12pm-1pm at the downtown Salvation Army building. All are welcome, no one goes away hungry!

700 S Riverfront Drive

Mankato, MN 56001

Telephone: 507-345-7840

Visit Their Website

City of Mankato Public Housing (Subsidized):

Mankato’s public housing is found throughout the city, rather than in one location or neighborhood. Public housing assists low-income people and families to live in subsidized housing managed by the city of Mankato. Program participants pay 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities.

Applications are available online. For an appointment to apply, contact staff at 311 or 507-387-8600.

Visit Their Website

Partners for Affordable Housing

Provides shelter for homeless families and individuals, and helps them to secure economically viable long-term housing.

Telephone: 507-387-2115

151 Good Counsel Drive, Suite 130

Mankato MN 56001

Visit Their Website

Veterans: MN Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV)

Our mission is to end Veteran Homelessness by providing housing, employment and legal services. We accomplish our mission by providing these services directly and in collaboration with community partners.

Telephone: 507-345-8258

Telephone: 833-222-6228

724 Madison Avenue

Mankato, MN 56001

Visit Their Website

The REACH Youth Drop-In Center

We offer a safe and supportive environment for teens and young adults.

Services offered at The REACH include: opportunities to learn independent living skills; job search; employment assistance; college preparation (i.e. applying for Educational Training Vouchers, FAFSA, and GED preparation) referrals to other community services, homelessness prevention and after-care services.

Summer Hours: Mon - Thurs 12-5 pm, Fridays by appointment only

Youth Info Line: 507-381-6670

REACH Representative: 507-720-0331

125 East Liberty Street

Mankato, MN 56001

Visit Their Website

Minnesota Valley Action Council (MVAC)

MVAC assists low-income families with housing, employment and transportation issues, and provides educational opportunities for children through Head Start.

Call your county office to get an application, ask question or set up an appointment to get started and learn more.


Blue Earth: 507-345-6822

Brown: 507-354-3138

Faribault: 507-526-5291

Le Sueur: 507-357-4246

Martin: 507-235-5518

Nicollet: 507-345-6822

Sibley: 507-237-2981

Waseca: 507-835-8240

Watonwan: 507-375-5748

Main Office:

706 North Victory Drive

Mankato, MN 56001

Main phone: 507-345-6822

Visit Their Website

MN Department of Human Services- Housing and Homelessness programs

DHS works to ensure that appropriate housing is available for the people we serve by supporting systems that integrates housing, services and income supports to enable people to live in the community of their choice.

Visit Their Website

True Transit: Town Rural Urban Express Rural County-wide Public Transportation

True Transit is operated by Vine Faith in Action and serves Blue Earth, Nicollet, and Le Sueur Counties. It offers set routes where you can schedule a ride at least two business days in advance or up to one month in advance online or by telephone. Passengers are expected to follow TRUE transit rules.

Passenger fares on scheduled routes are $3 one-way. Rides outside scheduled routes please contact TRUE Transit and we will do our best to accommodate your request for a premium price calculated by millage starting at $6 per one-way trip.

Telephone: (800) 560-1575

Visit Their Website

People to Jobs

People to Jobs is a VINE program that coordinates employment and employment-related transportation for single parents, refugees, and other low-income workers. In addition, People to Jobs assists with transporting the young children of low-income workers to daycare when their parents go to work. People to Jobs is a six-month transitional program designed as a stepping stone to allow workers time to develop more permanent transportation solutions. Fares from riders cover a portion of the cost.

Call to schedule a visit with a staff member.

Telephone: (507) 385-8127

Open Door Health Center

Provides treatment for chronic and acute health conditions, preventive and restorative dental care for low-income, uninsured individuals and families living in the Greater Mankato area. Services include medical, dental and behavioral Health Services.

Individuals with high deductible insurance may be eligible for discounts based on our sliding fee system, taking into account their income and household size.

Appointments: 507-388-2120

309 Holly Lane

Mankato, MN 56001

Monday 8am-7pm

Tuesday-Friday 8am-5pm

Visit Their Website

Counseling Services of Southern Minnesota

Counseling Services of Southern Minnesota was established in 1997 with a primary focus to serve children and families. Since that time the agency has added services for adults, couples, and psychological testing. Most recently the agency, with support of grants from the Department of Human Services, has added programming to serve infants and young children and provide services to children within area schools.

Telephone: 507-931-8040

226 N Broad Street

Mankato, MN 56001

Other Locations: Saint Peter and Le Sueur

Includes children, family, adult, community based services and psychological assessments.

Visit Their Website

Lutheran Social Services

Lutheran Social Service of MN (LSS) provides service in every county in the state of MN. Services provided in the Mankato and surrounding areas: Adoption and Birth Parent Services, Senior Nutrition, Guardianship Options, Financial Counseling services, Behavioral Health counseling services, Marriage Preparation workshops, Foster Care services, Veteran Services, Crisis Nursery, Personal Support Services, Runaway / Homeless Youth services.

Telephone: (507) 625-7660

710 S. 2nd Street

Mankato, MN 56001

Visit Their Website

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services

Free legal services for low-income individuals.

Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-11:45am and 1pm-3pm

Mankato Office: 507-387-5588

Toll Free: 1-888-575-2954

12 Civic Center Plaza Suite 3000

Mankato, MN 56001

Visit Their Website

Blue Earth County Human Services / Social Services

The Human Services Department’s mission is to effectively and efficiently deliver essential services to families and individuals so they can achieve their potential through active community participation. Federal and State programs including: Section 8 Housing Assistance, SNAP (Food Assistance), MFAP, WIC, Emergency Assistance etc.

Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

Blue Earth County Human Services Resource Guide:

Read Their Resource Guide

Human Services General Phone: (507) 304-4222

410 S. 5th Street

Mankato, MN 56001

Visit Their Website

United Way's 211 Service

Times are tough for everyone right now. If you or someone you know needs help, Get connected to the help and resources that will help you get through these tough times. FREE, confidential and available 24/7, Multilingual lines 24/7. Trained information specialists and volunteers can connect you to over 40,000 community resources available throughout Minnesota.

Dial 211 on any land-line phone or 1-800-543-7709

Visit Their National Website

United way: Greater Mankato: Our mission is to unite the community to secure and invest resources to improve people's lives. Including Childcare, Counseling, Crisis response: volunteering/donating, food, healthcare, housing, legal help, mental health, transportation, youth services, and senior services.


127 S. 2nd St

Suite 190

Mankato, Mn 56001

Visit Their Local Website

Minnesota’s County Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Programs (CCAP) can help make child care affordable for eligible families. Factors that are considered when determining eligibility are family size and income, adults, activities, age of the child, child care provider selected and cooperation with other programs as required. You can pick up the application at your local County Office or apply online at ApplyMN

Visit Their Website

Blue Earth County Child & Family Services

County information including adolescent chemical dependency, adoption, child protective services, children’s mental health, child support, child care, child foster care licensing, Child Care Assistance Programs (CCAP) applications are available at the first floor of the Government Center, and MN children with special needs assessments.

(507) 304-4222

410 South Fifth Street

Mankato, MN 56001

Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

Visit Their Website

Minnesota Valley Action Council (MVAC) Head Start

Promotes the school readiness of young children from income eligible families in the counties of Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca & Watonwan.

MVAC Young Adult Program: Eligible age range 16-24, possible services include paid work experience, career exploration, assistance to complete GED, scholarship for eligible career training options and other assistance.

Main Office: 706 North Victory Drive Mankato, MN 56001 1-800-767-7139

Visit Their Website

Parent Aware Child Care and Learning Program Search

Use the Parent Aware website tools and browse information to find the best quality child care and early education for your child.

Visit Their Website

Crisis Nurseries: Lutheran Social Services of MN

Parents dealing with personal stress or crises such as an illness, housing problems, divorce or separation, financial strains or other issues can benefit by contacting us.

Mankato Area Crisis Nursery

710 S 2nd Street, Mankato


Visit Their Website

Bridge to Benefits

FREE online benefits eligibility screening tool for students and families to see what public programs they may qualify for to help them stretch their budget.

Visit Their Website

YMCA Mankato

The mission of the YMCA is to gather communities, making accessible to all high quality programs and services that promote and develop health spirit, mind, body and social well-being throughout South Central Minnesota.


1401 S. Riverfront Drive

Mankato, MN 56001

Visit Their Website

YWCA Mankato

Our mission is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Programs for girls, New American Families, women’s leadership, racial justice, internships, volunteering and multiple events.


127 S 2nd St, Suite 200

Mankato, MN

Visit Their Website

MN Department of Human Services - Children and Families Programs

The Minnesota Department of Human Services helps keep children safe and provides families with supports to care for their children. This includes child protection services, out-of-home care, permanent homes for children, child support, food assistance programs, child care services and children's mental health services.

Includes information on economic assistance and services:

Visit Their Website