The USDA Farmers-to-Families Food Box pick-up in Crookston is set for Saturday, August 1st from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., or until supplies are gone. The pick-up location will be at the Crookston High School east parking lot. Those who drop by are asked to follow instructions while entering. Danelle Amiot of Polk County Social Services helped organize the event, and she hopes traffic will move through as smoothly as possible.

“We hope people enter from the east, and leave to the west,” Amiot said. “Don’t make a right turn and block traffic. Stay in your car. We’ll have people put everything in your trunk. We’ll have people directing traffic. We’ll try and keep things flowing as fast as we can.”

It’ll be a drive-thru pick up this year, and volunteers will distribute the boxes to the vehicles adhering to social distancing, according to Susie Novak, the Executive Director of the North Country Food Bank based in East Grand Forks.

“They will put the box right in your car,” Novak said. “There’s nothing to it. You pull up, you get the box put in your car and you leave.”

The protein box will be 11 pounds of frozen meat. There is no income guideline, and no paperwork required. Novak says the food boxes are a product of the CoronaVirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) set up by the USDA.

“These are actual USDA products that are being purchased from farmers and being packed into boxes,” Novak explained. “We have protein, dairy and produce boxes. They can range from 11-26 pounds per box. This program runs from July through December of this year. We’re using them as a supplemental distribution of food to communities across our entire region. There is no requirements to get this box. If you’re a person, you can stop by and get one of these boxes.”

The food box pick-up event was a collaborative effort by the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Polk County Social Services and the North Country Food Bank, according to Novak.

“We hope to have a successful first run,” Novak said, “and then we can tweak it, and make it smoother going forward. The Food Bank used to be located (in Crookston), so we definitely wanted to do something in this community to make sure people have more access to food during this time.”