Laferriere reiterates that meals are available to everyone in the community and can be picked up at the Care and Share

    The New Hope Food Shelf in Crookston has been rapidly serving hundreds of people in the community during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the globe and they’re thinking their numbers will increase once the warmer weather sets in. Food Shelf coordinator and Care and Share employee Rachel Laferriere told the Times that they served 297 people at the food shelf in March and 195 so far in April.

    When the pandemic first hit and schools closed, the food shelf held a “food drop” program for almost two weeks at various pick-up locations and served over 700 meals. Now, with meals made available only at the Care and Share, those numbers have drastically decreased. Laferriere says people, perhaps, don’t know what to expect if they would visit the Care and Share to pick up a meal, but she reiterates that they are available for lunch and dinner, and people in need from the community are able to simply pick up a meal to feed themselves and/or their family members.

    She also said that you do not have to be 18-years-old to pick up a meal from the Care and Share at lunch or dinner, nor do you have to be 18-years-old to pick up a food box from the food shelf as they want anyone who needs it to have access to food.

    The New Hope Food Shelf is open weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-5 p.m. at the Care and Share building on East Third Street and people from the community are able to get food twice a month.

    “We’re also seeing people from other communities, people coming from Fertile, Fosston, and other places,” Laferriere explained. “We’re not sure what is going on there if their food shelves are closed or if they’re running out of food.”

    A single person typically receives around 45 pounds of food from the Crookston food shelf with a variety that could include meats, vegetables, pasta, eggs and milk if available, and ingredients for meals such as peanut butter, jelly and bread for sandwiches.

    On average during the pandemic, Laferriere added, the food shelf and Care and Share has gone through 3,000-4,000 pounds of food a month. They’ve been placing orders for 1,500-2,000 pounds of food at a time from the North Country Food Bank and they’re running out just as fast after their monthly delivery from the food bank so they’re having to travel to East Grand Forks to pick up more food to adhere to the need.

    Monetary donations are always welcome to both the food shelf and Care and Share. For more information on either organization, call 281-2644 or 277-0000.