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Video: Second Harvest holds free food distribution event in Finland, Grand Marais and Grand Portage

Jul 16, 2020 06:01AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Volunteers distributed over 320 boxes of food for 80 households at the Clair Nelson Community Center in Finland Tuesday.  Photo: WDIO-TV

By Ryan Juntti of WDIO-TV - July 16, 2020

Access to food during the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult, especially in rural areas, but on Wednesday, Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank hosted a free food distribution event in Finland for anyone in need.

Volunteers distributed over 320 boxes of food for 80 households at the Clair Nelson Community Center. It was done in a drive-by style, so people picking up the food didn't have to leave their cars.

Each household was given four boxes, two with proteins, one with produce, and another with dairy products.

"People are just really happy with the quality of food, the amount of food that they’re getting," said Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank Food Resource Developer Katie Bull.

The USDA provided the food through their Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. It was created to increase the food access for food banks, such as Second Harvest, and other organizations.

"This program has been amazing. We’ve seen such a huge turnout at all the different locations that we’ve been to, Ashland, Superior, Cook, and it just really shows that there is a need in the community,” Bull said.

Michaela Scharmer, who is an Emergency Response Initiative member for Americorps, picked the site for the event in Finland. There were also food distribution events on Wednesday held in Grand Portage and Grand Marais.

“Since I got the chance to help coordinate, I thought it would be awesome to see the people actually receiving the food,” Scharmer said.

While the event is rewarding for people receiving the food, volunteers say it is also rewarding for them.

“People are so grateful for it, and it feels amazing, and I know that our volunteers just love being able to be part of this," said Bull.

"I think it’s super rewarding, and it definitely keeps you wanting to keep helping, knowing that you are making a difference," Scharmer said.

Bull says they served about 200 households in Grand Portage, and about 100 in Grand Marais.

There is also another food distribution event next Wednesday in Ashland at WITC from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

For more information about other upcoming food distributions, click here.

WDIO is partnering with local organizations to identify issues and to coordinate our community response. We can accomplish great things when we come together as a community. To learn more about Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, visit WDIO Creating Change.  Be part of the solution.

To watch the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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