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Noon Rotary president Dave Karsnia, left, Jack Berenz, Director of the Becker County Food Pantry, and Mike Guetter, chairman of the food pantry gift drive from Noon Rotarians. The gift of $800 was presented by the Noon Rotarians at their regular meeting. Brian Basham/Tribune

Food Pantry at 50% of donations

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Food Pantry at 50% of donations
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Donations to the Becker County food pantry are rolling in this month, but are they rolling in fast enough?

“As of Saturday we’re sitting at around 50 percent of our goal,” said Jack Berenz, pantry director, who admits that’s a number that kind of worries him, given the fact that March is coming to a close.

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But Berenz says he does expect the next few days to be busy ones, as some organizations wait until the very end of the month to bring in their collections.

And because March began on a Friday this year, the pantry’s deadline for partially matching funds has been extended to April 4.

Berenz says their goal is to raise $106,000 in food and money to help the pantry re-stock after a long, hard winter.

“We’ve had around 70 people come in for help just today,” said Berenz, who says he knows there are several businesses, individuals, churches and organizations that are still collecting for them right now.

“And we haven’t had the school kids come in yet either, which I know they always have things planned that really get them into it,” said Berenz.

He’s right.  Not only do the elementary and Middle Schools have boxes set up for food donations, but the high school is preparing for its fourth annual “Restock Concert.”

“It’s a play on Woodstock,” said Nicki Martinez, who is an English instructor at the school and the advisor for the National Honor Society — the organization that puts on the concert.

“This is where our local (high school) talent performs on Thursday afternoon,” said Martinez, adding that the cost of the concert is $3, “So we adjust the schedule so that there’s time at the end of the day where students can either go to study hall or they can pay $3 and go to the concert.

Martinez says there are five acts scheduled to play this year, and she’s hoping it brings in as much as it did the previous years, which is around $1,000.

To make a donation to the food pantry, stop by its location at 1308 Rossman Avenue on Tuesdays and Thursdays or call 846-0142.

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