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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • North Country Food Bank marks 30 years of growing impact

  • Employees, volunteers and well wishers gathered Tuesday at the North Country Food Bank to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Susie Novak, executive director, happily walked around the place giving tours to folks that hadn't been there before and talked about all the lives they have changed over the years.
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  •     Employees, volunteers and well wishers gathered Tuesday at the North Country Food Bank to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Susie Novak, executive director, happily walked around the place giving tours to folks that hadn't been there before and talked about all the lives they have changed over the years.    
        One of the first stops that she liked to show off was the plate wall. Family recipients of the food bank had wrote on paper plates that were hung about how getting that assistance has helped them along the way. There were a lot of people who said it relieved their stress in knowing they will have a meal for their children. It has also encouraged families who have made it through the tough times to come back and volunteer. Some even do it every week.    
        Volunteers are the biggest part of the food bank and food shelf, which has been open for two years this November. There were over 10,800 volunteer hours logged last year. A lot of their products are donated, but they do receive commodities and purchase goods themselves. "There are things that aren't ever donated like flour for baking. We are fortunate to purchase those things at wholesale for those in need," mentioned Novak.   
        Last year, almost five million pounds of food were sent out to people in need. The food bank has special programs for school age children and seniors. The back pack program serves 34 schools and 4,300 children every month. The Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors (NAPS) serves 40 pounds of food to approximately 2,000 seniors in need every month.    
        If you or your organization would like to volunteer, the North Country Food Bank takes appointments or you can stop by during business hours. Their main office is at 424 North Broadway Street in Crookston.

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