Free CommUnity Meals has served 23,953 meals to date! Our communities in Backus and Pine River have embraced this project since our start in April of 2019. We need more volunteers to help provide these meals.

If you have a little extra time to give back to your community, we can use prep cooks to help Brian (our chef) prepare the meals before we open up. We could use someone to transfer prepared meals from Backus to Pine River.

Gardens have been planted to provide fresh produce for these meals. This means we need gardening help to weed and water the plants. If you have the skills to help with volunteer coordination, that would be an excellent way to contribute. Volunteers have been giving out the meals at both sites and helping with clean up after.

Gardeners, please consider donating your excess produce to this program to ensure we are providing the healthiest meals for our guests. You can bring these to the sites when open. We purchase fresh veggies but they are always in short supply. Our main resources for meals had been from restaurants and resorts who are no longer doing big venues and currently have limited guests at their businesses.

We need your donations to continue to provide this program. Please send checks to Pine River-Backus Family Center, PO Box 1, Pine River, MN 56474 with a notation of "Free CommUnity Meals" in the memo section.

For more information, call 218-587-4292.

Have a friend in need? Please share that we are open from 4-6 p.m. Mondays at the Riverview Church in Pine River and Thursdays at the Pine Mountaineer Senior Center in Backus. The Pine River Area Food Shelf is still open twice weekly.

Thank you for considering helping by volunteering.

Kathleen Stephan is a volunteer at the Pine River-Backus Family Center.