how to help
Your support and funding will help us continue to make the programs described below available to the charitable agencies and communities we serve. It will also allow us to pursue new programs and opportunities that will give us the ability to distribute even more food to people in need.
Food Distribution Program: Our food distribution program provides over two million pounds of donated food and non-food products to 165 charitable agencies annually.
Delivery System: Food and non-food products are delivered directly to the doors and/or communities of over 165 agencies on a monthly basis.
Food Purchase Program: Food products not usually donated, but highly desired, are purchased and made available to our agencies for distribution to their clients. This program also helps us supplement our inventory supply when donations are low.
Food Outreach Program: In a perfect world, every agency would be able to meet all of the needs of the hungry in their community. However, time, staff, volunteer help, space, money and sometimes client pride impede on that perfect world. North Country’s new mobile food distribution program, which we are calling "Food Outreach," allows an agency or a community to set many of these factors aside, and get up to 30,000 pounds of food to approximately 300 needy families in a matter of only a few hours!
Frequently Asked Questions
BackPack Program: Many children do not have enough food to eat when they are not in school. This program provides children with food to eat when school is not in session. Each child who participates in this program receives a backpack filled with nutritious food products, including two entrées, two fruits, two vegetables, two cereals and two snacks. The backpacks are typically distributed on a Friday or on the last school day before a long weekend or holiday.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program: As part of this program, North Country provides a 35-pound box of nutritious food each month to income-eligible post-partum women to 6 months out and children 5 years until 6 years of age through the Mothers and Children Program (MAC), and to low income seniors 60 years and older through the Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS). This program is crucial for low-income seniors and young children in our service area. It provides participants with a nutritious assortment of food on a monthly basis, at no cost.
North Country Food Shelf: The goal of the food shelf is to provide food security to families and individuals in need throughout Polk County. The food shelf will run as a client choice model, where people are able to select the foods they need and will use, increasing the usefulness of what is given to them. The food shelf will also serve as a model for training and educational purposes for the other food shelves in North Country’s 21 county service area. North Country Food Shelf will be open five days a week and one Saturday each month. This will allow the food shelf to accommodate clients with non-traditional schedules.
Kid's Cafe: The Boys and Girls Club of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, in partnership with North Country Food Bank and Feeding America, operates a Kid's Cafe. This is one of the country's largest free meal service programs for children at risk of hunger. There are over 1,600 separate locations nationwide. The Kid’s Cafe in Detroit Lakes serves approximately 75 children per day, five days a week. It provides the children with somewhere to go, and something good to eat.
Education: It is part of our mission to provide the charitable agencies and communities we serve with the information and resources we have available to assist them with their fight against hunger in their communities. We provide our agencies with opportunities to attend training classes and conferences, including many networking and idea-sharing opportunities. We are also happy to speak with businesses, schools, civic organizations, faith based organizations and community organizations about hunger and its effects
It is also our goal to help educate the public about hunger and its solutions. North Country is currently collaborating with all of the food banks that serve Minnesota, including Second Harvest Heartland in the Twin Cities; Channel One in Rochester; Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank in Duluth; Second Harvest North Central Food Bank in Grand Rapids; and Great Plains Food Bank in Fargo, to work on a campaign for a Hunger Free Minnesota. Additional information about the need in Minnesota and, more specifically, in North Country's service area can be found by visiting Hunger-Free Minnesota's website: www.hungerfreemn.org.