Pine River-Backus: Free Community Meals Gain Following

Pine & Lakes Echo Journal

Aug 24, 2019

Photo illustration: Metro Creative Graphics, Inc.

Pine River-Backus: Free Community Meals Gain Following

Article Summary

Since April, Riverview Church in Pine River and the Pine Mountaineer Senior Center in Backus have been hosting free, community meals. The program has served more than 3,600 meals, so far.

According to Loaves & Fishes, a nonprofit providing much of the food for the program, the Pine River site started by serving 25 meals a night and now serves more than 160. Backus started serving 80 people per night and now serves 204. The number is significant, given the population of Backus.

"We're 250 people according to the sign at the road, and we serve nearly that many people," said Backus Volunteer Coordinator Vickie Majernick.

Brian Chaffee is a site coordinator and chef for both the Backus and Pine River community meal programs. Chaffee said need is a factor.

Loaves & Fishes Executive Director Cathy Maes said, "Pine River and Backus are helping us make sure rural Minnesota is not forgotten.

The sites in Pine River and Backus are currently looking for volunteers. For more information on the program in Pine River, please click here. For more information on meals served in Backus, please click here