March Campaign for Becker County Food Pantry called 'especially critical,' this year

“The focus of our March Campaign is to create a special unrestricted fund that can support our most critical infrastructure needs,” said Becker County Food Pantry Executive Director Brad Carlson.

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The Becker County Food Pantry is one of several local nonprofits that hope to get a fundraising boost from this year's Give to the Max Day online fundraiser, which is set for Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.
Nathan Bowe / Detroit Lakes Tribune

March is the big month for the Becker County Food Pantry -- the month that the pantry receives an incentive award based on the amount of cash and pounds of food it collects from March 1 through March 31.

The more donations the food pantry collects, the larger its award from the Greater Minneapolis Community Connections.

And this year, the food pantry is focusing on both its core mission and its critical infrastructure needs.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made this March Campaign an especially critical one,” said Brad Carlson, executive director of the Becker County Food Pantry. “We have had to make dramatic changes in our operations to meet the growing needs of our community in the safest way possible.”

Because of COVID-19, in 2020 the state and federal governments kicked in extra funding to get food and supplies to those most impacted by the pandemic -- the unemployed and low income people.


Combined with nonprofit community food drops available to everyone, the upshot was a 40% drop from the prior year in people using the Becker County Food Pantry in 2020.

“It has been an honor for us as an organization to play a key role in the response to this crisis,” Carlson said.

“And we are proud to say that our careful management of these funds has allowed us to build a healthy reserve for future food purchases.”

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Space is at a premium at the Becker County Food Pantry, which is exploring its infrastructure needs. (Nathan Bowe/Tribune)

For years -- until the pandemic struck, bringing with it unparalleled amounts of government aid to the needy -- the food pantry had to cope with ever-growing demand for food by Becker County residents. That need is only expected to grow as the extra government help provided during the pandemic goes away, so the food pantry is hoping people will take this opportunity to donate towards new equipment and perhaps even a new building.

“The focus of our March Campaign, therefore, is to create a special unrestricted fund that can support our most critical infrastructure needs,” Carlson said. “Unrestricted donations will allow us to make investments in equipment and facilities that will prepare the Food Pantry to better serve our community now and into the future.”

Greater Minneapolis Community Connections will match donations of unrestricted funds just as it matches regular donations during March, Carlson said.


Donations by check can be mailed to 1308 Rossman Ave, Detroit Lakes, 56501. If you prefer your donation to be used exclusively for food purchases, instead of an unrestricted gift, please make note in the memo line of your check. You may also donate by credit card online at: .

The food pantry is open from 12-3 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. The building is next to the gymnastics building at the Becker County Fairgrounds.

In order to become a recipient of the Becker County Food Pantry, a client needs to fill out a federal household yearly income form and provide proof of residency because the pantry only serves those living in Becker County.

Questions? Call 218-846-0142.

“The support of our community has been truly inspirational, especially during the past year, and we sincerely appreciate your support as we continue our 38 years of service as Becker County’s sole food pantry,” Carlson said. “Thank you for your generosity and commitment to a hunger-free Becker County.”


The outside of the Becker County Food Pantry, which has seen strong demand growth in recent years. (Nathan Bowe/Tribune)

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