Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Novak: Those in need in Thief River will get food

  • New-look TRF Area Food Shelf board fires director, announces temporary shutdown.

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  • Susie Novak, executive director of the Crookston-based North Country?Food Bank, told the Times Monday that families in need in Thief River?Falls will not go without food, even though the board of directors of the TRF Area Food Shelf in Thief River Falls announced Friday that, effective immediately, the food shelf there is temporarily shutting down.
    “We’re kind of scrambling right now, because that’s one of the biggest food shelves in the 21-county region that we serve,”?Novak said. “We’re figuring out the best strategy, like maybe doing mobile food drops there, but we’re certainly not going to let that community go without food.”
    Novak said NCFB’s initial plan will be to try to convince the TRF?Area Food Shelf board to stay open. If that doesn’t work, she said NCFB will make sure there is sufficient food for TRF food shelf clients in the interim. As for the long term, Novak said that whether NCFB continues its relationship with the TRF food shelf, opens another food shelf or works with some other agencies in Thief River?Falls, a lack of food in that city will not be an issue.
    Rev.?Bert Foster, chair of the TRF?Area Food Shelf board, announced to area media on Friday that the TRF Area Food Shelf was temporarily shutting down. For two years, he explained, the food shelf there has struggled with operating costs that far exceed income. Rising costs, coupled with declining financial support, spurred the decision to shut down, Foster said. The goal is to resume regular food shelf distribution in the fall, he added.
    Novak said it’s her understanding that there has been a significant amount of turnover on the TRF?Area Food Shelf board of late, and that last week the new-look board terminated Food Shelf Director Gloria Reierson.
    In the release, Foster said the board is seeking a new director, two new board members, as well as a new location for the TRF facility. The TRF?board is also seeking contributions to help pay off $6,921 it says is owed to NCFB.
    Foster, on behalf of board members Rev. Jeff Gauss, Julie Hamburg, Michelle Barry, Ginny Olson and Dave Richter, apologizes for any inconvenience to clients, and said an interim food distribution plan is in the works. In the meantime, he said that individuals and families in the Thief River area who need food assistance should contact local churches.
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