Making new friends

The Grab-a-Bite program, after finding success in Fergus Falls, is going to launch in New York Mills.

Otter Tail Lakes Country and Otter Tail County are pleased to announce the launch of “grab-a-bite” a new program designed to help new residents of Otter Tail County feel more welcome. The program is designed to act as a platform for New York Mills and other cities throughout Otter Tail County to create inclusive communities by fostering meaningful one-on-one interactions between newcomers and locals.

Betsy Roder, a founding member of New York Mills Grab-a-Bite program shared, “In our recent NYM2025 strategic planning process, community members identified the importance of being welcoming and inclusive as key to the growth and vitality of our community and region. I appreciate Otter Tail County’s leadership in this regard and am excited to bring the Grab-a-Bite program to New York Mills to help advance these efforts. I look forward to the opportunity to meet newcomers in this informal, casual and fun way, and I really appreciate the support of our local restaurants who are making it possible.”

“In short, grab-a-bite is a way for us to make sure we roll out the welcome mat for folks who move to our area,” said Erik Osberg, Rural Rebound Initiative Coordinator for Otter Tail County. The program works through teams of locals committing to taking newcomers out for a quick meal or cup of coffee.

“I am hoping the Grab-A-Bite program provides an opportunity for new community members to meet an existing community member and have lunch with no expectations.,” said Latham Hetland, New York Mills local participating in the program.  “Instead, there are hopes to have a good conversation about New York Mills and for the new community member to know someone in the community that they can reach out to.”

The program’s goal for each community in the county is have a “grab-a-bite” chapter in their town.  “We already believe that Otter Tail County is the best place to live and work. However, if we can have 10 groups of locals, spread out across Otter Tail County making it a priority to identify and welcome newcomers, then we will be well on our way to reinforcing that narrative.”

If you are interested in participating in grab-a-bite as a newcomer or a local, contact Erik Osberg at 218-770-7848 or eosberg@co.ottertail.mn.us.

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