Nevis Women’s Club Hosts Food Drive – Park Rapids Enterprise

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Food that is unopened and does not need to be refrigerated can be brought to the Nevis Visitor Center, located just off the Heartland Trail until September 30.

The Visitor Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Greene said food shelf usage has increased since the start of the year. “We average 20 families a week now,” she said. “Two years ago we would have thought seven families was a busy Tuesday.”

Greene said the demographics of food shelf users have changed.

“We have more families and young people than three or four years ago,” she said. “I guess they work, but with the price of groceries, they’re probably supplementing what they can afford. We used to see more seniors, but now it’s probably 60% seniors and 40% families with children.

Her husband, Steve, is the food shelf manager and Brad Benson is the manager.

In 2021, 66,505 pounds of food were distributed compared to 52,661 pounds in 2019.

Last month, 6,445 pounds of food were distributed to visitors to the food aisle.

“I’m often there at the food aisle and see what they need,” she said. “I thought when people closed their cabins and had food they couldn’t keep in there over the winter, it would be nice to have somewhere they could put that to help people use the shelf. for food, if they don’t want to carry it. back home,” she said.

Cyclists riding the Heartland Trail are also encouraged to bring an item or two in their backpack and put it on the food shelf while passing through Nevis.

“Maple syrup, bottles of orange and apple juice, flour and small bags of sugar are especially needed because we can’t get them from the food bank,” she said. .

Donations of toilet paper and tissues are welcome as well as coffee.

“At the moment we only have enough toilet paper donated to donate one roll a week,” she said. “People would love the coffee, but it’s something we rarely have. When Muskie Waters closed we were able to buy whole grains and they ground them for us. Another time I bought coffee at Costco. Red River in Akeley allowed us to use their commercial kitchen to split coffee into small bags and also split some foods into small packages.

In addition to this food drive, members of the Nevis Women’s Club bring a needed item to the food aisle at their monthly meetings.

The Akeley-Nevis Food Shelf is located at 6 Broadway Street. Hours of operation are Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Every visitor who drives or walks to the food shelf is given a grocery list outside to select the items they want from the 60-70 items available. Volunteer shoppers then fill boxes with these items in bags and boxes and place them outside on a table to be loaded by the person using the food rack.

At the same time, the use of food shelves is up, the food available is down.

“In January, the list we gave people to shop was about eight or nine pages and last month’s was four pages,” she said. “We believe it’s important that people have a choice when they come.

Part of the reason for the decrease is that fewer items are available from the food bank.

“Every Monday we buy milk, eggs, bread and potatoes from Walmart to distribute on Tuesdays. Potatoes used to be $2.39 a bag and now they cost up to $5 for a five pound bag. Eggs also increased. At the beginning of the year, it cost us $65 in total for these four items and now it costs around $140.

Some of the food comes from the North Country Food Bank in Grand Rapids, where Greene said they get more for their dollar.

“We do not receive the product donations and other items that the Park Rapids Food Shelf receives from major grocery stores like Walmart, Coborn’s and Hugo’s,” she said. “The Park Rapids Food Shelf shares some of its products with us. Super One in Walker gives us baked goods in the winter. And one of the students from the school in Nevis held a food drive for us last year and collected hundreds of pounds of food for us.

Donations of produce from the gardens can also be dropped off during food preservation hours on Tuesdays.

Greene said those who use the Food Shelf complete a simple form each year. “We feed everyone who is in need,” she said.

The mission of this food shelf is to serve the people of the communities of Akeley and Nevis. Greene said some people in Akeley who use the food shelf don’t have a car, but instead walk to the food shelf and push their groceries home in a cart.

“I get attached to the people who come,” Greene said. “I know probably 90% of our clientele. I have a box of dog treats for those who always bring their dog in the car. I like to chat with people and see how they are doing.

Each customer can use the food shelf twice a month. Food is distributed according to family size.

“There are food shelves in Park Rapids, Menahga, Walker, Hackensack and Laporte,” Greene said. “We really want to encourage people to use their local food shelf.”

In addition to bringing items to the Nevis Visitor Center, donations of food and paper goods can be brought to the Akeley-Nevis Food Shelf on Tuesdays from 9-11 a.m. or the Akeley Treasures Thrift Store neighbor who funds the food shelf Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donations of gently used items for sale in the thrift store are also needed.

Bethany Lutheran Church in Nevis also has a food shelf donation box.

“All the money they raise goes towards food shelf expenses and heating, cooling and maintenance of the building,” Green said.

Grocery store gift vouchers or cards to help buy food can be dropped off during food storage hours or mailed to Akeley Nevis Food Shelf, PO Box 25, Akeley, MN, 56433.

Volunteers able to help unload five pallets of food from the truck on the morning of the third Thursday of each month are particularly sought after. Call 218-652-2388 for more information.

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