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Pine River-Backus Family Center: Help support free community meals

Helen Keller once said, "Alone we can do so little. Together we can do much."

Initiated by Chefs Brian and Kristy from Trout Lake Camp, a small group met to explore the option of providing a weekly free community supper in both Backus and Pine River. Simon Whitehead, Cass County health and nutrition educator, spearheaded the group, which grew to 18 individuals in a short time.

We are collaborating with the organization Loaves & Fishes, which already has many sites up and running through the Cities and Aitkin. Chef Brian has made the trip to their warehouse and loaded up on items we can serve along with restaurant quality foods from our area. Pine River-Backus Family Center is to act as the fiscal host.

Monday, April 22, was our first dinner served at Riverview Church in Pine River; and Tuesday, April 23, dinner was served at Pine Mountaineer Senior Center in Backus. Cheeseburger Quiche, broccoli salad, banana bread and grapes were served and the feedback from all in attendance was: "Awesome food and service."

The meal plate looked like a gourmet creation - picture worthy.

Supper will be served every Monday and Tuesday from 5-6. Take the pressure off your meal planning and meet with others at these free community suppers. You will be pleasantly surprised.

What the group is looking for now is the commitment of groups from civic organizations, churches, service organizations, businesses and others to help with serving, greeting and clean-up. We are looking for six volunteers each week. As the old Dutch saying goes, "Many hands make light work."

If a large number of committed groups enlist, the less often each group will have to serve. Maybe you can do it once a month or every other month?

Please call volunteer coordinators Vicki for the Backus site at 218-947-4007 or Tanya for the Pine River site at 218-252-5607.

So many people care about their neighbors. Financial support is needed to keep this program going. Send donations to Pine River-Backus Community Meals, PO Box 1, Pine River, MN 56474.

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