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.
On August 25th, 2014 Bemidji, MN Mayor Rita Albrecht read the “Take Action Against Hunger Day Proclamation” below to kick off September’s “Hunger Action Month”.
This event took place at the Bemidji Community Food Shelf. David Horn from the Beltrami County Farm Bureau presented both the food shelf and our food bank with a matching donation and issued a challenge to other county farm bureaus as well as companies to do the same. This action was intended to demonstrate that North Country Food Bank is local and an important support system for all local agencies throughout our 21 county service area.
Take Action Against Hunger Day Proclamation
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rita Albrecht, Mayor of the City of Bemidji, MN, do hereby proclaim the week of August 25th, 2014 as
Take Action Against Hunger Week
and do hereby proclaim the day of August 25th, 2014 as
Bemidji Community Food Shelf Day
in Bemidji, MN, and encourage everyone to accept the challenge of the Beltrami County Farm Bureau to demonstrate their support for North Country Food Bank and their local food shelf by donating to both.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the official seal of the City of Bemidji, MN to be affixed at Beltrami County on this day of August 25th, 2014.
Rep. Paul Thissen Visits Crookston Food Bank in Support of "Farm to Foodshelf" Program
Three shippers from the Red River Valley are participating in the "Farm to Foodshelf"
program, a program designed to cover the costs of getting surplus product distributed to those in need. A & L Potato, Peatland Reds and Folson Farms are all participating in the program.
Last Wednesday, Minnesota State Representative Paul Thissen (DFL) from Minneapolis made a stop at the North Country Food Bank in Crookston to see how the program is working and visit with local participants including Randy Bushey from A & L Potatoes, Dale Griggs from Folson Farms and Mary Beth Dickey from the North Country Food Bank.
Representative Thissen, who is Speaker of the House was one of the key supporters of the legislation that created the program funded by a $2 million appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature. The funding helps agricultural producers and processors offset the cost to harvest and package their donated fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go un-harvested or be discarded.
L to R: Rand Boushey, A&L Potato; Mary Beth Dickey, North Country Food Bank; Rep. Paul Thissen; Dale Griggs, Folson Farms.
On July 25, 2014 the MN Department of Ag designated $2 million dollars over the next three years for the MN Feeding America food banks to use to reimburse farmers for their surplus produce. Unlike food manufacturers who get an enhanced tax break; farmers get nothing for any donations they make. This money will make it possible for food banks & food shelves to capture more produce and a greater variety of it. The Bemidji Community Food Shelf will not have to worry about potatoes anymore. We were able to use these funds to have Peatland Reds supply them on a regular basis which will continue all year. See attached F2F Flyer. There is a toll free number; however they will refer them to the appropriate food bank. People can call Mary Beth Dickey at 218-232-4213or via email at email@example.com more information to speed things up.