Showing posts from December, 2017

NMF Supports Mobile Produce Drop Service

The North Country Food Bank has been providing food to local food shelves since 1983. When they first got started, the concept was simple – capture surplus food from the USDA, food manufacturers, grocery retail outlets and farmers to feed hungry people. They can capture donations that are too large for local agencies to handle. Today, North Country distributes food to over 230 charitable organizations on an annual basis. North Country’s service area covers 21 counties in northwest and west central Minnesota and part of Grand Forks, North Dakota. North Country is a member of Feeding America. Most of North Country’s member agencies receive 70 to 90 percent of all the food they distribute from North Country. Their staff consists of 11 full-time paid staff, one part-time paid staff, and more than 1,200 volunteers. They are able to do a lot with a little; last year they distributed 8,096,056 million pounds of food – which is the equivalent of 6,746,713 meals! 

NMF recently awarded North C…

Bemidji's Newest Destination for the Outdoors

It’s no secret that our region is a destination for the outdoors. Our diverse landscapes, countless bodies of water, and access to public lands makes Northwest Minnesota ideal for sportsmen and sportswomen alike.
Erik Jacobson is a Bemidji native who grew up the way many of us did – with a love for all things outdoors. An avid hunter and fisherman, Jacobson always wanted to turn his passion into a lifelong career. With the exception of a few retailers dispersed around the area – Reed’s, Gander Mountain (now closed), L & M Fleet, there are very few locally owned, outdoor specialty stores. Seeing this niche as a major opportunity, Jacobson and his friend Aaron Templin came up with Destination Sporting Goods (DSG).

“We cater to the outdoor enthusiast. Whether you’re looking for the best equipment or the right advice, you’ll want to shop at Destination Sporting Goods,” it says on the store’s Facebook page. Their main product offering will include fishing & archery along with a wid…

NMF Working to Address the Region's Child Care Needs

Ensuring families have access to quality child care is a high priority task for NMF.

Our region has the third largest deficit for child care needs in the state. We are faced with 41% of families not having access to child care spots for their children. This means 41% of families are struggling to find safe and affordable child care for their children so they can go to work.

The Center for Rural Policy and Development recently published a fact sheet that provides insight on this issue. The main barriers that they pointed out were the following:

Until more can be done to increase wages and/or profits for both center and family providers, the child care shortage will continueLow pay for workforce makes recruitment and retention a major hurdle.Providers feel they can't raise rates because parents can't afford to pay more. Under this scenario, providers can't make a profit or be sustainable.The high startup costs make for very high barriers to entry for the average provider.The v…