Local labor union plans food distribution events for those in need

Pamela D. Knudson, Grand Forks Herald
·2 min read

Apr. 10—The Northern Valley Labor Council of the North Dakota AFL-CIO will distribute food for those in need at two events in the Grand Cities later this month.

The free boxes of food and gallons of milk will be given away beginning at noon Friday, April 16, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1515 Fifth Ave. N.W., East Grand Forks.

A second event is set for noon, April 22 at Sharon Lutheran Church, 1720 20th St. S., Grand Forks.

About 1,300 boxes and gallons of milk are available for distribution, which will take place in the church parking lots. People are asked to drive in and tell the volunteer how many boxes and gallons of milk they need. The food will be put in their back seat or trunk, as the driver prefers.

Volunteers will be wearing vests and masks for the contact-free distribution.

The event organizers are asking people to take what they need while being respectful of the needs of others, said Mark Froemke, council president.

The distribution events are sponsored by the North Dakota AFL-CIO, the St. Paul Federation of Labor, and the USDA Farm to Family Program.

There is no need to sign up in advance, and there is no limit to the number of boxes and milk containers that can be requested, Froemke said, noting that people may pick up boxes for themselves or others, such as shut-ins or those who can no longer drive.

The volunteers plan to distribute the food until it's gone, Froemke said. Any leftover food will be donated to the local food pantry. But that may be unlikely, because at a similar event March 26 at Sharon Lutheran the food was gone in about an hour and a half, he said. "So the need is obviously very great. If we would have had another semi (truck) and a half (of food), we would easily have gotten rid of (it)."

The USDA Farm to Family distribution program will likely conclude at the end of April, he said, and so "we wanted to do this before the program runs out."

Similar food distribution events are planned for Thursday, April 15 in Belcourt, N.D., and April 22 in Mahnomen, Minn., Froemke said. "We're working with the tribes to get the word out" in those communities.

To volunteer for these events or more information, contact Froemke at 218-779-9258 or Wayne Burlog at 701-772-7367.