Food Box Distribution Event at CHS - 37,200 pounds of food given out

Mike Christopherson
Volunteers in the CHS parking lot on Saturday distribute frozen meat and other food to people pulling up in their vehicles.

    In what North Country Food Bank Executive Director Susie Novak called one of the agency’s biggest mobile food distribution events ever, in just under three hours Saturday in the west parking lot at Crookston High School, 37,200 pounds of food was given out in socially distanced fashion to people who, when the event commenced, lined up in their vehicles east on Fisher Avenue past Casey’s General Store.

    The event, billed the “Farmer to Families Food Box Pick-Up,” was carried out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in partnership with NCFB, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Polk County and the Crookston School District.

    The initial plan was to give out, with no paperwork to fill out and no income eligibility requirements, a “protein box” containing 11 pounds of frozen meat. But Novak said organizers were able to “over-deliver” in the form of “dairy boxes” and “produce boxes” also being given out. The dairy boxes contained milk, yogurt, butter and cheese, while the produce boxes contained apples, oranges, potatoes, onions and carrots. The quality of the products in the boxes was “top-notch,” Novak noted.

    “This was one of the biggest mobile distributions to date for North Country,” she added. “The food we distributed was enough for approximately 31,000 meals.”

    She described how the event was advertised and carried out as “fantastic”, “smooth” and “well-organized.” Everyone who showed up went home with some food, Novak added.

    “The people coming through the line were so grateful and thankful for the food,” she continued. “We couldn’t be happier with the turnout and how the event went over in the community.”

    Novak made a point to thank other partners who helped make it such a success, like Polk County Social Services, especially Vicky Davidson and Danelle Amiot. She also singled out Tri-Valley, Crookston High School, the United Way of Crookston and the Crookston Police Department, which provided traffic control.

    “Also, a huge thanks to all the volunteers who showed up,” Novak said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

    With NCFB recently moving its headquarters from Crookston to East Grand Forks, she said it was especially gratifying to conduct an event with such a big impact in Crookston. She said she hopes more, similar events will be held in the coming months.