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Greenbush WOT helps implement BGMR Backpack Program Receives $1,000 donation from Border Bank


Members of the Greenbush Women of Today accepted a $1,000 donation for the Backpack Program from Border Bank during the Women of Today’s February 10 regular meeting at Remedies in Greenbush. The Border Bank Greenbush branch staff members raised this money through potluck/Friday jean dollars. Pictured are (L-R): Greenbush Women of Today members Mary Ann Johnson and Mercedes Snare, Greenbush Women of Today President Kristy Kjos, Border Bank Greenbush Branch President Lisa Bergsnev, and Greenbush Women of Today member and Border Bank employee Danielle Berg. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

Want to help children in need of food during those long weekend and holiday breaks? A new program began in this area at the start of this school year, one helping Badger and Greenbush-Middle River students with this specific need.

Having identified a need within the community of children whose families are struggling and not eating well when school is out of session, the Greenbush Women of Today (WOT) helped start the BGMR Backpack program. The group partnered with the Badger and Greenbush-Middle River Elementary Schools, North Country Food Bank, and the Northwest Minnesota Foundation to set up this program.

Every Friday or the day before a holiday break, the BGMR Backpack Program sends home enough food in a bag to feed a child until he or she returns to school on Monday from a weekend or holiday break. These bags include nutritious, kid-friendly food, typically items that children could prepare themselves, such as cereal, macaroni and cheese, granola bars, fruit cups.

As part of this program, parents can either opt into the program at anytime or school staff can send a bag with a child he or she feels may be in need— what’s called an “opt out” option.

The program currently serves about 50 children each Friday between the two local schools. Organizers of this program order the groceries for these food bags through the Food Bank and KC’s Country Market.

Each bag costs between $5 to $7, depending on grocery prices. At its February 10 meeting, the Greenbush WOT accepted a $1,000 donation from Border Bank’s Greenbush branch to help with this program. The Border Bank Greenbush branch staff members raised these funds through potluck/Friday jean dollars.

If interested in donating to this program, one can either mail in a check or donate online. These donation gifts are tax-deductible and one will be emailed a receipt from the Foundation after he or she makes his or her donation. An individual can also set up recurring donations if they so choose.

To donate online via credit card or checking account, one can go through the Northwest Minnesota Foundation. Just go to the following website: Then, click on “BGMR Backpack Program Fund” from the drop down menu.

To donate via mail, send the donation to: BGMR Backpack Program Fund, C/O NMF, 201 3rd St NW, Bemidji, MN 56601.

The Greenbush Women of Today is planning a fundraiser banquet on April 9, 2022 for this program. One can contact any Greenbush WOT member, including Greenbush WOT President Kristy Kjos, or go to the Greenbush WOT Facebook page to get a ticket or to donate to this fundraiser.

To see the complete story, read the February 16 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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