November 2020 Bemidji Community Food Shelf Newsletter
We Are Thankful for YOU
As the Holidays approach, our hearts turn toward thoughts of thankfulness. Even in the difficult year of 2020, there is much to be thankful for! The real shining lights of 2020 are our volunteers. Boxes were packed, pallets moved, and trunks loaded. Deliveries were made to those who were housebound or lacked transportation. All the while, in the background, our ever-faithful regular volunteers kept the warehouse going, stocked shelves, interviewed customers, and directed traffic. There were times when we wondered if we would need to close our doors; but our amazing volunteers kept going, enabling us to meet the needs of our Bemidji neighbors. There have been many words used to describe the year 2020: Unprecedented. Pandemic. Division. But we offer these alternatives:
Heroes. Neighbors. Encouragement. Support. Dedication. Pride.
A Bountiful Harvest
It was a wonderful year for the Farm at the Food Shelf. Despite challenges involving the loss of volunteer groups and organizations due to COVID-19, nearly 15,000 pounds of produce was harvested for area families, a new record for the farm.

In March, it became clear that things would be very different this year for the Farm due to the pandemic. It turns out that there were many folks who were looking to do something during the pandemic, and this outdoor opportunity was a healthy option. About a dozen people came regularly – some daily – to plant, mulch, water, and weed.

This year’s crops included rhubarb, tomatoes, squash, onions, greens, cabbage, potatoes, green beans, and peppers. Asparagus, apple trees, and grapevines were planted this year for future harvests.

New Stuff: Truck, Freezer and Staff
This summer we were able to purchase a new, larger vehicle with a COVID Transportation grant. Another COVID grant funded our new, walk-in freezer, which will allow us to take advantage of free and low-cost meat and other frozen products..

At the beginning of November we welcomed Ed Berger (right) as our new warehouse manager. Conan Cunningham (left) transitioned to our first-ever Maintenance Coordinator. We wish them the best in their new positions!
2020 Friend of the Farm
Congratulations to Chris Tower on receiving the Friend of the Farm Award! Chris has planted, tended and sold seedlings to benefit the BCFS Farm. He also built raised beds, installed a rain garden, and serves on the Farm Vision Committee.
Thank you Chris!