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Crookston Community Food Basket Committee Receives RiverView Honor

Community news | Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Crookston Community Food Basket Committee was recently awarded RiverView Health’s 2022 Reaching Out to Serve Award for its 30+ years of providing meals and nutrition for local families.

For over 30 years, RiverView has recognized individuals, groups, and programs with the Reaching Out to Serve Award. The award symbolizes RiverView’s mission of serving the region while demonstrating innovativeness voluntary of self-initiated efforts and improving the access, quality, or cost-effectiveness of healthcare.

Helping Families at Christmas

The idea for the program came from Deloryce Bertils in the late 1980s, in conjunction with the Trinity Lutheran Church Social Concern Board. Created to help families during the Christmas season, donations were sought initially from local churches by putting out boxes for food donations.

In the early 2000s, Deloryce handed the idea over to new committee members and chairpersons, and the Crookston Community Food Basket Committee was formed. At that time, food donation changed to people and businesses donating money, allowing food to be purchased in volume at Hugo’s and Walmart.

Due to COVID-19, there were no food baskets in 2020. In 2021 and 2022, a challenge was created by local high school student-athletes to raise money to go with the regular donations, resulting in gift cards for families. In 2022, 268 families received gift cards for a total of $14,665.

Working Together

Many organizations have helped over the years, including local 4-H clubs, RiverView nursing home, Leo Club, Books for Kids, Trinity release time kids, Our Saviors and Cathedral Schools, Spokley Potatoes, American Crystal, North Country Food Banks, Regional Sanitation, Greg Garman and student-athletes, Highland 6th graders, Hugo’s, KROX, and many others too numerous to mention.

Marlene Leblanc accepted the award on behalf of the committee. She stated: “We wouldn’t be able to accomplish what we do without the help of our committee members and also from the individuals and businesses in the community who donate and help out with this project. So thank you very much.’’

Committee members are Jim and Kathy Borkowski, Ray and Terry Dusek, Pete and Ann Graham, Gerry and Jackie Lindsay, Greg and Marlene LeBlanc, Jean Tate, Scott and Julie Kleven, and Shelamar Henderson/Tri-Valley.

Pictured above, back row, left to right: Jim Borkowski, Jerry Lindsay, Ann Graham, Scott Kleven, Marlene LeBlanc, Greg LeBlanc and Ray Dusek. Front: Betty Arvidson, RiverView Health; Terry Dusek; Kathy Borkowski; Jackie Lindsay; Jean Tate, RiverView Health; and April Grunhovd, RiverView Health.