In the wake of every legislative session in Minnesota, no matter how wonderful or poorly it went, lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle typically travel around, talking to the media and anyone else who will listen about the good things they accomplished.

    In the wake of every legislative session in Minnesota, no matter how wonderful or poorly it went, lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle typically travel around, talking to the media and anyone else who will listen about the good things they accomplished.

    That’s the case again this spring, and around these parts, lawmakers, including our own District 1B State Rep. Deb Kiel (R-Crookston), are saying that northwestern Minnesota fared pretty well in the 2017 Minnesota Legislative session.

    Kiel made some good points in a chat with the Times Monday. But if you want to improve life in northwestern Minnesota and you’re a state legislator, you battle tooth and nail to get $3 million included in the 2018 bonding bill so the Crookston-based organization can finally construct a much-needed new facility on the north end of town, on North Broadway.

    NCFB had a great chance of getting included in the 2016 bonding bill, but the legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton failed to pass one. They passed one just under $1 billion this year with some needed projects for Crookston and the surrounding area, but somehow left out the $3 million for NCFB.

    When local people think about our NCFB, we probably think of pictures of young volunteers in the newspaper filling boxes of food as fast as they can, or NCFB Executive Director Susie Novak accepting a large ceremonial donation check from some organization.

    But the NCFB is a gigantic operation, serving 21 counties and partnering with hundreds of agencies, charities and local food shelves in order to provide food for a growing number of families in need across a big swath of this great state of ours.

    The downtown office space and warehouse is old and cramped. The warehouse in the industrial park helps, but logistically it’s not convenient and conducive to an efficient operation. Building a one-stop facility on North Broadway makes perfect sense. This isn’t some pork project; it’s not fluff. This is a project that will meet essential needs across the region.

    Tax cuts are nice, and so is building new roads and bridges. But people don’t really think about those things when they’re wondering how they’re going to put food on the table for their family.

    Then there’s the fact that it’s hard for Novak and her team to raise the required local match of $3 million when their sales pitch doesn’t include the certainty that $3 million from the state in order to build the $6 million facility in Crookston is secured.

    Oh, and construction projects tend to get more expensive the longer they’re put off.

    One could go on and on.

    Kiel told the Times Monday that making sure funding for the NCFB is included in a 2018 bonding bill that she thinks will be similar in size to this year is “absolutely at the top of her list” of things to do.

    Get it done, and that would be excellent news for a lot of families, and a boost for northwest Minnesota.