Bemidji Community Food Shelf Receives Record Donations
Bemidji may be facing difficult challenges right now, but the community is not about to leave people behind where food is concerned. The Bemidji Community Food Shelf has seen an increase in donations since the pandemic began, with this year’s Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign setting a record.
The Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign is an annual campaign for food shelves during which money and donated food receive a partial match through a fund created by campaign organizers – Greater Minneapolis Community Connections and Hunger Solutions. This year, the campaign was extended through April due to the pandemic.
Food Shelf director Mary Mitchell said the response was overwhelming. “We are so humbled by the extraordinary support we have received from the community during this difficult time. With everything feeling so uncertain, this has given us a sense of security for which we are very grateful.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Shelf transitioned to curbside pick-up in mid-March. In April, visits were up about nine percent over average, and Mitchell expects to see visits increase in coming months. “With kids at home, stimulus money gone, and many jobs not restarting, we expect more folks will be needing help with food.”
Anyone needing food assistance is encouraged to come to Bemidji Community Food Shelf 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. The Food Shelf is located in the Industrial Park at 1260 Exchange Ave SE and distribution takes place in the south parking lot across from Schwan’s.