Distributing food

Volunteer Pat Griffin (left) and city employee Mike Hartwell help bring shares out to cars during Friday’s food shelf distribution.

Earlier this week the Fergus Falls Community Food Shelf announced that they were closing their doors until further notice as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, however, they were open for business as the city stepped in to take over and make sure this essential service remained available to families in the community.

“We had learned that the board of directors out here at the food shelf, with concerns related to the age of their volunteers and then some of those other things, that they weren’t able to keep it open,” said City Administrator Andrew Bremseth. “We met with the board earlier this week and they were gracious enough to allow us to use the facility as long as we figured out the logistics, the volunteers and also how to restock the food as we go forward here.”

Bremseth says the city jumped right in with both feet to help out and the community has been supportive through monetary donations, labor and volunteerism. “Here we are today with the food shelf operational,” Bremseth says.

“It’s open to the public. Whoever needs, we’ll serve,” says Mark Hartwell, one of the city employees volunteering on site Friday.

The food shelf is providing a little bit of everything. “We’ve got meat, we’ve got eggs, we’ve got vegetables, we’ve got dry goods, rice, beans, all kinds of goodies,” says Hartwell.

In addition to city employees, volunteers include church members from town and some teachers.

The food shelf is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is currently serving anyone who shows up, although it’s curbside pick-up only. Volunteers will bring shares out to vehicles or walk-up visitors. 

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