The work of the United Way and North Country Food Bank in Crookston makes a real difference in the lives of people struggling, and in the success of the community.  

    North Country Food Bank has successfully distributed food across northwest and west central Minnesota for more than 37 years, and recently moved its operations from Crookston to East Grand Forks.  North Country is one of only 5 food banks in Minnesota.  Each food bank has a specific territory it serves.  North Country serves 21 counties in northwest and west central Minnesota, and Grand Forks, North Dakota.

    As a nonprofit food bank, North Country’s primary role is to provide food to the frontline charitable organizations that feed people struggling with hunger.  Last year, with the United Way’s help, North Country worked with more than 9 agencies in the Crookston community, and provided nearly 400,000 lbs. of food - the equivalent of more than 333,000 meals.  North Country also worked closely with the United Way and community partners to establish a new food shelf in Crookston.

    North Country receives funding from 5 different United Way organizations, covering more than 7 counties in its service area, including the United Way of Crookston.  The United Way of Crookston has been a strong partner of North Country’s for many years, and has consistently helped North Country distribute more food in the community.  The funding provided by the United Way of Crookston is a critical component of North Country’s ability to close the gap on missing meals in Crookston.

    North Country needs help now more than ever!  Every dollar provided to North Country allows them to acquire enough food to provide 5 meals.  This allows North Country to stretch the United Way’s funding to meet the need in the community.  The United Way’s funding plays an important role and has a major, positive impact on North Country’s ability to meet the need in Crookston.

    “The impact of providing struggling families with food is huge,” said Susie Novak, North Country’s Executive Director.  “It gives our families some stability and security knowing they are going to have access to the food they need each month,” said Novak. 

   There is no benefit to letting someone struggle with hunger.  Hunger has a huge negative impact on health, on children’s behavior and growth, and on the productivity of employees to name a few.  The United Way and North Country believe by working together as a community to address hunger issues, we are helping to give a child the chance to succeed at school, an employee the chance to do well at work, and a senior citizen the chance to remain healthy and independent.  

    North Country is grateful for the United Way’s continued support.  In North Country’s line of work, every dollar counts.  Every person who helps makes a difference, and every person we help matters.  

    It is the belief of North Country and the United Way that nobody should have to wonder where their next meal will come from.  The United Way of Crookston’s continued partnership and support go a long way to make this a reality and to bolster North Country’s fight against hunger in the Crookston community.