BEMIDJI COMMUNITY FOOD SHELF

Faith, Food. Hope.

aka BCFS   |   Bemidji, MN   |  www.bcfsmn.org

Mission

The Bemidji Community Food Shelf is a faith-based, caring place that listens to those who are experiencing food insecurity. We work with our partners to be inclusive and to provide fresh, nourishing foods for those living in Beltrami County and the Bemidji School District.

Notes from the nonprofit

As an emergency food shelf, we provide an essential community safety net for families in Beltrami County, the Bemidji School District, who are experiencing food insecurity. In 2019, over 1000 people volunteered at least two hours of time to help our community access food. We served nearly 3,000 households, providing almost a million pounds of food. We are so grateful to our community and to others who support this critical work we do. In the fall of 2019 we transformed to a SuperShelf, making the healthiest choice the easiest choice. About half of our food is purchased with donated funds. The remaining food comes from our partner stores and from food drives and individual donations. Our Farm Project has contributed about 50,000 pounds of fresh produce over the past six years. We are a cutting edge organization, always trying to find new ways we can improve the lives and health of our community. We seek to partner with other community organizations to strengthen our outreach.

Ruling year info

1985

Executive Director

Mary R. Mitchell

Main address

P.O. Box 3118

Bemidji, MN 56619-3118 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

41-1494430

NTEE code info

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There are two Bemidjis: The one that we would like to see--a happy summer destination, lake homes, happy and healthy families, and the other that we prefer not to see: many disenfranchised people just struggling to live. Beltrami County is the poorest and least healthy county in Minnesota. We are a rural area and our county is very large. Transportation is a huge barrier for families when accessing food, healthcare and other services. Bemidji Community Food Shelf provides emergency food assistance to food insecure households in Beltrami County and the Bemidji School District. We meet a critical need in the community. In 2019 we transformed to a SuperShelf and distributed over 925,000 pounds of food. We work hard to provide and encourage healthy choices and to make our food shelf welcoming to all. We are looking at new ways to work with our customers to expand their knowledge of healthy food and healthy food preparation.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Food Shelf Farm

We operate a five-acre farm adjacent to the food shelf. It is overseen by one part-time staff and relies on volunteer labor. Over the past six years we have distributed about 50,000 pounds of produce to food shelf families. We have two high tunnel greenhouses and a deep winter greenhouse, enabling us to produce some fresh food year around. In addition to providing fresh produce, the Farm provides learning opportunities for children, youth and adults interested in sustainable, urban agriculture.

Population(s) Served

We are a distribution site for NAPS boxes. This is a federal program for people over the age of 60 who live at 130% of the poverty rate or below. We currently distribute boxes to over 100 seniors.

Population(s) Served

The Food Shelf serves 3000 area food insecure families who made over 11,000 visits in 2019 and received nearly one million pounds of food.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Accreditations

SuperShelf 2019

Affiliations & memberships

Feeding America

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Hunger Solutions 2018

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We are currently exploring the feasibility of a mobile food shelf to provide service to outlying communities.

We are working with a local organization to do a feasibility plan and will be forming a committee to look at mobile food shelf best practices. We have applied for and received a grant for the purchase of a dedicated trailer.

We have outside assistance from a partner organization, and funds for the trailer purchase. We are seeking to secure resources for a dedicated staff person for the mobile food shelf.

We have secured funds for a trailer, gotten some bids, formed an assessment committee and are compiling survey results. Next, we will form a committee to look into best practices. Assuming the assessment committee recommends moving forward, we will purchase a custom trailer.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We are currently assessing the feasibility of a mobile food shelf and are using a survey to determine the level and locations of need in our area. In the past, we have used customer focus groups to understand how people feel about our farm and fresh produce. We have used surveys about produce with our customers to inform what we plant on our farm.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently,

Financials

BEMIDJI COMMUNITY FOOD SHELF
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

BEMIDJI COMMUNITY FOOD SHELF

Board of directors
as of 7/27/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

James Fretheim

Gloria Collyard

BCFS Secretary

Natalie Rader

Affinity Plus, BCFS Treasurer

Wayne Haugen

BCFS Vice President

Paula Howard

Director

Brian Drechsel

Director

Julie Canty

Director

Al Nohner

Director

Susan Ninham

Director

Randall Burg

Director

Linda Jackson

Director

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/27/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/27/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.