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Focus on food: Nameless Coalition continues efforts to feed people, looks to expand community meals

BEMIDJI — They have enough blankets and food donations continue to increase. What they don’t have enough of is people power.

The Nameless Coalition for the Homeless is seeking volunteers to help provide essential services to homeless people at Peoples Church. The group has plans in the works to extend noon community meals from three to seven days a week. Currently, a meal is offered at the church on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

“This is not just for the homeless. It’s for anybody who is hungry,” said Peoples Church Rev. Bob Kelly at Monday’s coalition meeting. “These are ‘our people.’ ”

Coalition member Carol Priest said the group has been in contact with the North Country Food Bank in Crookston. Once the pantry in Peoples Church is restructured and inspected by the food bank, discounted and free food donations will be trucked to the church.

Priest said the Bemidji Community Food Shelf has offered to have Peoples Church supplies sent on the same truck as the food shelf’s delivery, which will cost the church nothing.

Kelly said the community meals will build relationships in Bemidji. A community New Year’s Eve celebration complete with venison stew will be held at dusk today at Peoples Church, 824 America Ave.

To volunteer at People’s Church, contact Carol Priest at (218) 760-0605 or or Kelly at (218) 444-8240 or (218) 368-0388.

The Nameless Coalition for the Homeless will meet Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. at Brigid’s Pub at 317 Beltrami Ave. in Bemidji.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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