North Country Food Bank’s Programs
We provide food directly to many families, neighbors, childrens, and seniors in need through our direct service programs.
Our BackPack Program provides food to children who don't have access to food on the weekends when school is not in session.
When school lets out for the weekend, many children are without their federally subsidized school breakfast and lunch. For many, these missing meals mean that they have less, or even nothing, to eat on the weekend.
Our BackPack Program provides a solution to hunger for children on weekends.
Food for our program is leveraged through national and regional suppliers. We secure easy-to-open, easy-to-prepare food with a balance of nutrition. It arrives at our food bank where it’s packed into small bags by volunteers monthly. Once packed, the food is transported to 36 school districts in northwest and west central Minnesota.
We collaborate with teachers, school nurses, social workers, and other school staff who identify a need in children’s homes. Children are enrolled in our program and receive their bags of food weekly, on Fridays, just in time for their weekend.
“I just feel better knowing there is food in the house." 1st Grade Student, Bemidji, MN.
Thanks to supporters like you, each year, we provide more than 35,000 bags of food to children in need across the region.
Our Mobile Food Pantry Program provides supplemental, nutritional food to individuals and families in communities where need is high and food resources are limited.
North Country Food Bank's Mobile Food Pantry Program provides supplemental food for individuals, families, children and seniors in need. It can be challenging to access nutritional food in rural areas. Not every community has a food shelf, a grocery store, or charitable organizations who can help.
Our mobile food pantries are like food shelves on wheels. Fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy, and shelf stable items are loaded onto our refrigerated truck and transported to areas of high need and low food resources.
Once on site, pallets of nutritious food are unloaded and set up for distribution. Individuals and families arrive, and food is placed into their vehicles. Our truck always returns to our distribution center empty.
“Thank you so much for the food. You really made a difference. I didn't know what I was going to do!" – A mobile pantry program participant, Bagley, MN
Thanks to your support and the mobile food pantry program, each year more than 450,000 meals are provided to individuals and families struggling with hunger.
Our Nutrition for Seniors Program – Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides a solution to hunger for seniors in need.
Food insecurity can have dire health consequences on seniors. The likelihood of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and even depression increases when healthy and nutritious food isn’t regularly available.
Wholesome, shelf-stable foods like fruits, vegetables, cereal, meat, and dairy items are made available by USDA. Volunteers pack the monthly menu of items into boxes which are distributed to more than 80 sites across the region.
Each year, this program provides more than 350,000 meals to seniors as part of our Nutrition for Seniors Program.
Income-eligible Minnesota seniors (age 60 or over) who are qualified for our program are able to pick up their food in person or assign a proxy to act on their behalf.
SNAP is a monthly benefit that helps stretch food dollars. It is a financial benefit that helps families purchase food at local stores, farmer’s markets, and even online.
North Country Food Bank has partnered with Second Harvest Heartland and all the food banks in Minnesota to provide help to individuals applying for SNAP.
Who Can Use SNAP?
SNAP is intended to supplement food and nutrition needs for people of all ages. Eligibility depends on your household’s size and income.
How to Get Help