Bridge Community Pantry gearing up for March fundraising campaign

The Bridge Community Pantry's Executive Director John Leikness near the baking supplies and breakfast foods at the food pantry. (RosaLin Alcoser / Focus)

Every Tuesday, The Bridge Community Pantry opens its doors to local families in need.

Since 1995 families from Perham, Dent, Ottertail, Richville and Vergas who need a little extra help have been able to come in once a month and choose from a verity of supplies at the Perham food pantry.

"I think people generally have it in their head that the same people come month after month and that’s not the case,” pantry Executive Director John Leikness said. “We see a lot of new people coming into the community. I had one today that said, ‘I just moved here and I had to pay rent up front, I had to pay for the electricity upfront. I don’t get paid for two weeks, I just need a little help.’ Then we don’t see them again.”

There are people who do come every month and need to come every month, but most only come on a month that they need a little extra help, Leikness said.

For those who cannot get to the main P{erham location, there is still an option. On the first Tuesday of the month, the mobile food pantry goes to Ottertail and Richville, and on the first Wednesday of the month the mobile pantry goes to Vergas and Dent, Leikness said.


The inside of The Bridge Community Pantry's mobile pantry. (RosaLin Alcoser / Focus)

“Our income, about 85%, is strictly from donations and others are from smaller grants that we get,” Leikness said. Those donations that help support The Bridge most come to form the end of the year and in March. The March Campaign runs from March 1, through the second week of April.

“It is significant to us because a portion of whatever dollars are donated are partially matched by the state organization Hunger Solutions,” Leikness said.

Hunger Solutions receives donations, especially from big contributors such as General Mills, that they then distribute to the food shelves and pantries based on how much they raise during the March campaign, Leikness said.

“There’s an incentive for us to do well because the match is better,” Leikness said.

The Bridge Community Pantry exists to help those in the community who need help thanks to almost 40 volunteers and donations from the community.

“We’re blessed not only with dedicated volunteers but with this community that is so generous,” Leikness said.


Want to donate?

All donations for the March campaign must be made between Sunday, March 1, and the second week of April.

Donations can be taken to The Bridge Community Pantry 8 a.m.-noon Tuesdays. Donations can be mailed to The Bridge Community Pantry, P.O. Box 7, Perham, MN 56573, or made online at .

Want to volunteer?

Visit The Bridge Community Pantry 8 a.m.-noon Tuesdays, call 218-346-6181 or visit .

The Bridge Community Pantry's mobile unit goes out the first Tuesday and Wednesday of the month to Ottertail, Richville, Vergas and Dent. (RosaLin Alcoser/Focus)

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