There will also be a special volunteer meeting will be held Wednesday, March 11 from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Golden Link Senior Center in Crookston for volunteers to learn what the job will entail

    A food shelf is returning to Crookston and will now be located at the Care and Share shelter at 220 East Third Street. Starting March 16, the food shelf will be open from 1-5 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, and interested parties can use the side door on the west side by following the sidewalk. Food Shelf Coordinator Rachel Laferriere told the Times the program also has a Facebook page “New Hope Food Shelf” and they can accept volunteers plus people can schedule food pick-up by clicking “Book Now” on that page. There will also be recipes added to that page to assist clients in how to use the food they received.

    Laferriere said people who have self-declared a need for food can visit the food shelf twice a month, or have a proxy person pick up for them, and they will not be required to provide proof of income or address, but will be asked to fill out a form for statistical purposes only. The goal is to provide 30 pounds of food per person per visit and food choices will depend on what’s available that day. There will also be signage in both English and Spanish to help “overcome” the language barrier, Laferriere pointed out.

    “The food shelf will be taking the place of our donation-based ’Boxes of Hope’ food box program which provided close to 600 boxes of food over the last two months,” she told the Times. “We will now have to order food for the food shelf and will need a minimum amount of money per year to keep it going.”

    “It’s easily $60,000-$70,000 a year to run it,” added North Country Food Bank Executive Director Susie Novak, who has been assisting Laferriere and Care and Share Executive Director Brian Halos with getting the food shelf up and running. “They currently get food donations from Walmart and Hugo’s, and some convenience stores too.”

    “The food shelf will also be eligible for free USDA commodities through the food bank,” Novak continued. “Rachel has been working very hard at connecting with funding and the food bank (North Country) gave them their old food shelf equipment to use for the new food shelf.”

    When asked if North Country Food Bank will have a fee added on to deliveries from their new facility in East Grand Forks, which relocated from Crookston, Novak confirmed there would be and added there would be some flexibility for when they get the food shelf up and running.

    Halos said the Care and Share is excited to add the food shelf service for the community, but it needs to be supported without being a “drain” to the rest of the organization which is mainly a homeless shelter and soup kitchen.

    There is a GoFundMe link available on Facebook for those interested in donating to the new food shelf.

    A special volunteer meeting will be held Wednesday, March 11 from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Golden Link Senior Center in Crookston for volunteers to learn what the job will entail. The New Hope Food Shelf will also be planning an open house in the near future.

    Rachel Laferriere is available Monday thru Friday at the Care and Share for anyone who might want more information about the food shelf or volunteering. She can also be reached at (218) 281-2644 or by email at rachelcarenshare@outlook.com.