On Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
North Country Food Bank was fortunate to
have a nice visit from one special lady.
Below is a reprint of an article written by Feeding America.
Volunteering Across America: One Woman's Mission to Volunteer at all 200 Feeding America Food Banks
April 11, 2015
by Aaron LaMonica-Weier
April is National Volunteer Month and volunteering is a great way to give back to your community. Ending hunger in America depends on the volunteer work of literally millions of Americans who know that they can make a difference. In an average month, nearly two million volunteers across the Feeding America network provide more than 8.4 million volunteer hours at food programs. These volunteers are in every community of the United States. They are helping provide meals to the 46.5 million people served through Feeding America food banks. Jess Kurti is one of those volunteers.
Jess is a regular volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando. She developed her passion for fighting hunger by volunteering with a group of friends a couple of times a year. Then, while on a cross-country road trip, Jess saw many people struggling to live paycheck to paycheck. These experiences made it important for her to volunteer while traveling on vacation. Jess has now launched her own “Beast of Burden Challenge” to run a marathon in every state, volunteer at all 200 Feeding America member food banks and raise awareness of the issue of hunger.
“I want to show people what food banks are and how important they are. I want to bring awareness to the many programs that food banks have to get at the root cause of hunger,” Jess says. “The more I talk to people, the more I see the gap in awareness.”
After already volunteering at more than 40 food banks, Jess’s main motivation is to change people’s attitudes about hunger and increase compassion and kindness towards those facing hunger in America.
“I like the grassroots aspect of being a ground soldier. I found what I want to do.”
If you are interested in learning more about Jess’ progress, check out her Facebook page. There are so many people in America who are just like Jess. They want to contribute to their community in a meaningful way. If you already volunteer, thank you! If you want to begin volunteering, remember that you don’t have to volunteer at all 200 food banks to make a difference. Find your local food bank by visiting the Food Bank Locator and you can have an impact on the lives of the millions of families, children and seniors facing hunger.
*Aaron LaMonica-Weier is the manager of digital engagement, cultivation at Feeding America.
Here is a link to a video interview explaining her motivation to help:
North Country Food Bank receives $4,100 from the Otter Tail Power Company
“Put Your Paper to Better Use” Campaign.
Pictured are Ken Johnson, Energy Management Representative, Susie Novak, NCFB Executive Director, and Leon Kremeier, Area Manager
President’s Voice - Kevin Paap
Finding Common Values - Solving Hunger
Minnesota Farm Bureau understands that value is important to our potential members and to every current Farm Bureau member when choosing to renew their membership. In the book “The End of Membership as we Know It,” Sarah Sladek states, “The number one reason members join an association is because they believe that the association will help them solve a problem…If they join your association or renew their dues, they want that money to pay for access to much more than a listing in a directory and a discount on car rental.”
It is in solving common core value problems that connect us to our Farm Bureau membership. Addressing hunger is a common value for our Farm Bureau members across Minnesota. Through Farm Bureau’s Promotion & Education Committee Food Awareness activities and our Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee Harvest for All programs, Farm Bureau members are making a difference. During 2014-2015, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation together with county Farm Bureau members have raised nearly $21,000, packaged 36,306 pounds of fresh produce, packaged 10,800 meals and donated volunteer hours to help the hungry in Minnesota.
Food connects every Farm Bureau member and every potential member! Our members engage in many Food Awareness activities such as serving food at the Ronald McDonald House; inviting elected officials to grocery shopping sprees to raise over $6,000 for county food shelves; donating hams for Easter; raising acres of sweet corn for the food shelf; donating freezers, extra produce or meat; or donating money to provide funds for the backpack program to feed hungry children over the weekends away from school. These are just a few activities occurring during February as Food Awareness Month and March as Food Share Month.
Harvest for All
Now in its 13th year, Harvest for All is spearheaded by members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program, but Farm Bureau members of all ages from across the nation contribute to the effort. The joint effort between Farm Bureau and Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, is a national community action program through which farmers and ranchers can help ensure every American enjoys the bounty of food they produce.
Nationally, last year Farm Bureau’s farm and ranch families raised more than $1.2 million and donated a record of nearly 42 million pounds of food to assist hungry Americans. Combined, the monetary and food donations also reached a record level of the equivalent of more than 46 million meals.
Minnesota food banks serve approximately 623,000 people each year. Farm Bureau members can help solve the hunger problem by taking the Empty Plate Challenge and raise awareness about hunger in our communities. All you have to do is skip a meal, post an empty plate picture on social media, challenge three friends to do the same and donate the money that you would of spent to those in need. Learn more at www.harvesttoendhungermn.org/emptyplate.
As farmers and ranchers, we work every day so that no one in America is hungry. Yet, according to Second Harvest Heartland, every day 1 in 10 Americans go hungry. Many are senior citizens and children, and according to the World Food Prize, 25,000 people each day die from the lack of food across the world. That is why Farm Bureau members are committed to fighting hunger at local, national and global levels. We invite you to join Farm Bureau and join our efforts to fight hunger.
Pictured left to right: Susie Novak, Executive Director-North Country Food Bank; Riley Maanum, Area Program Director-MN Farm Bureau & Mike Gunderson MN Farm Bureau District VII State Director
North Country Food Bank would like to thank the NW Regional Farm Bureau (Roseau, Marshall & Pennington Counties) for their generous donation which will enable us to provide 3,000 more meals! This donation is made in honor of February’s Food Awareness Month and the Minnesota Foodshare March Campaign.
Crookston Times Report
Posted Feb. 26, 2015 at 11:27 AM
The West Polk County Farm Bureau on Wednesday presented a check to North Country Food Bank Executive Director Susie Novak that will provide 10,000 more meals to area individuals and families in need.
The donation comes in conjunction with the Minnesota Farm Bureau’s Food Awareness Month in February, and also to kick off Minnesota Food Share Month in March.
Along with the donation, Crookston Mayor Gary Willhite also proclaimed Feb. 25 “Take Action Against Hunger Day” and encouraged others to accept the West Polk Farm Bureau’s challenge to support NCFB.
Pictured left to right at the NCFB in Crookston are; Dustin Perry and Ron Salentine, both of the West Polk County Farm Bureau; Riley Maanum, NW MN Area program director, Minnesota Farm Bureau; Mike Gunderson, Minnesota Farm Bureau District VII state director; Paul Dragseth, president, West Polk County Farm Bureau; Susie Novak; Mayor Gary Willhite; and, Randy Boushey, owner, A & L Potato Company in East Grand Forks.
A new year, new logo and a new website! North Country Food Bank is pleased to present our renewed effort to engage, educate and help our communities end the hunger problem that continues to affect so many of our neighbors.
We want to thank Matthew Stengl of Stengl's Signature Graphics for his development work on our new logo. We think you will agree it has a much better representation of who we are.
New Logo: Old Logo:
We also want to give a special thank you to Brian Larson of Amity Graphics in Bemidji, MN for their help in our rebranding process. Connie Knutson was a tremendous help fine tuning our look and developing of our latest newsletter. http://www.amitygraphics.com/
A huge thank you to Sarah Hokuf and her staff of Evolve-Creative in Bemidji, MN for their work on our new website. We cannot thank them enough for the countless hours they put in to make it much more effective. http://www.evolve-creative.com/
Please see attached proclamation that Mayor Rita Albrecht read on Monday August 25th at 3:30pm at the Bemidji Community Food Shelf at 1260 Industrial Drive SE Bemidji MN 56619. This activity was done to raise awareness of the hunger problem as September is Hunger Action Month.
To help raise the awareness of hunger and how food banks and food shelves work together to serve those in need, the Beltrami County Farm Bureau hand delivered a check to the food shelf and another to the food bank. They did this to demonstrate their commitment to help and to challenge other County Farm Bureau’s as well as other businesses to do the same. Together we can end hunger!
Mayor Rita Albrecht
Mary Mitchell – Manager of the Bemidji Community Food Shelf
Bill Beyer – President Board of Director Bemidji Community Food Shelf
Susie Novak – Executive Director North Country Food Bank
David Horn – Treasurer Beltrami County Farm Bureau
Mary Beth Dickey – Director of Development & Food Sourcing
Quick History of NCFB
North Country Food Bank has been serving 21 counties in NW MN for over 30 years. We are part of the Feeding America network of 201 food banks around the U.S. that make up a sophisticated network collecting large donations of food and redelivering to local agencies. NCFB serves over 244 non-profits & programs within our service area. Some agencies get as much as 70% of their food from us and many as high as 92%. North Country has grown dramatically over the last few years through the leadership of our Executive Director, Susie Novak. When Susie began, NCFB was distributing 1.8 million lbs. of food. This year we are tracking over 7 million lbs. of food distributed.
This is food that otherwise may have ended up in a landfill. Recently we received over 1million lbs. of potatoes from Folson Farms in E. Grand Forks. We were able to flood the state of MN with potatoes as well as share them with over 30 food banks around the country. Many of those food banks share their surplus with us in return.
Traditionally, food banks began by distributing surplus from the USDA. Soon after they were able to make connections with food manufacturers in order to collect their surplus food inventory. A few years ago a study was done that identified the billions of pounds of produce that is either harvested and unsold or left in the ground. Soon after food banks began working with farmers to find ways to capture this food too.
News and Events
North Country Food Bank, Inc.
424 North Broadway
Crookston, MN 56716
North Country Food Shelf
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