July 2020
Bemidji Community Food Shelf Newsletter
We Miss You!
Before Covid 19, days at the Bemidji Community Food Shelf were bursting with life. We had about thirty five volunteers a day, all of whom were busy with various tasks. Interviews were given, numbers taken, stories were shared. People had their little ones bringing noise and energy to our store as families shopped for food. Volunteers were busy stocking shelves and taking food to cars. Friendships were made and needs were met.
 Life has changed for everyone during the pandemic, including our Food Shelf. Today, a small, dedicated group packs boxes and distributes them in the trunks of cars. Cheerful smiles are hidden behind masks, but the heart and love of serving our community has not changed. We are all looking forward to the time when we can be back to normal.
We hope to reopen safely in the fall, with new policies and practices in place. Instead of many volunteers, we will have a smaller core group of volunteers. Instead of many families coming in at once, we will establish an electronic numbered waiting system. So, it will look a little different. It will certainly be focused on safety. Most of all, it will continue to meet the needs of both volunteers and customers; giving volunteers a place to invest in the lives of others and providing a welcoming space for community members to receive healthy, nutritious food.
We miss you! The staff at Bemidji Community Food Shelf is working diligently not only to provide food during these challenging times, but also preparing to open back up in the fall. We are here for you. Together, we will get through this!
Roof Update Work is in progress!
Thanks to the generosity of the George W. Neilson Foundation, the Lueken Family Foundation, Carolyn Jacobs, Affinity Plus, Enbridge, and other donors, we are not only able to replace the damaged roof membrane and insulation; we are also able to add gutters and downspouts! We are extremely grateful to all of those who helped us with this critical need.
Thanks to the thoughtfulness of an anonymous donor, BCFS was able to replace its elderly walk-behind fork lift with a brand-new one. The new stacker, “Big Joe,” is working great and will make getting food out to our community much easier!
Sunday August 16
Ice Cream Social
Our annual appreciation ice cream social is Sunday, August 16 from 2-4 p.m. Please join us for complimentary ice cream and toppings! Come and see the beautiful farm, raised beds and high tunnels. We will be using safe protocols for serving and encourage everyone to wear masks and maintain a 6 foot distance from others.
Open Your Heart Summer Challenge
Hunger. Shallow focus
Summers can be tough on families in the best of times. Now more than ever, families are feeling stressed and anxious about food. With kids home from school, more meals are needed. In April, nationwide, more than 17% of mothers reported that their children under 12 were not getting enough to eat – a 400% increase from a similar survey in 2018.
During the July Open Your Heart Summer Challenge, food shelves around the state attempt to raise donations during a season when demand is high and donations are low. Please help us continue to provide food for our neighbors by donating in July.
To donate, mail your check to: Bemidji Community Food Shelf, PO Box 3118, Bemidji MN 56619-3118 or use the button below. We thank you, and so do your neighbors!

The Farm at the Food Shelf:
Engaging the community to grow fruits and vegetables to enhance food security
Please come and see our beautiful Farm! Thanks to many helping hands, everything is planted and is growing! We
We have decided not to hold the annual Harvest Ball for the Farm at the Food Shelf this fall due to risks associated with COVID-19. There will however be a fundraiser in August.
Our Farm provides fresh, nourishing produce for those we serve, and volunteer and learning opportunities for our community.
Please help us continue this mission. To give to the farm, mail your check to: Bemidji Community Food Shelf, PO Box 3118, Bemidji MN 56619-3118. Please put "Farm" in the memo. Or, you can donate to the Farm below.
Thank you for your help during this critical time
With so much uncertainty regarding the pandemic and the price and availability of food, we are extremely grateful for your support and the feeling of security we have knowing that we can provide for our community. Thank you!