Second Harvest helping families in need through CFAP distributions

Ryan Juntti
Updated: September 16, 2020 09:11 AM

One of the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been job loss, and for many Northlanders this has impacted the access to good, healthy foods. 


According to a recent report by Feeding America, Minnesota and Wisconsin each rank in the top five in terms of states with the highest projected increase in food insecurity from 2018 to 2020.

  1. North Dakota: 77%
  2. Minnesota: 60%
  3. Nevada: 57%
  4. Wisconsin: 57%
  5. Hawaii: 57%

Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank is helping those in need through their Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) distributions.

Even before the third CFAP distribution at UW-Superior's Wessman Arena started at 10:00, a line of cars formed in and out of the parking lot.

Annie Birdseye-Kyrola of Superior arrived at about 6:55. She was picking up food for her and her family, who have lost their jobs.

It's a situation she, like so many others, have found themselves in recently.

"With the quantity of the food and everything that they give us, it is plenishing food that we don't have to put out for right now," said Birdseye-Kyrola.

"I got laid off, and it's helping me a great deal with my kids at home," said David Goodman of Cloquet.

"With the pandemic they've lost a lot and sometimes they might not have a meal," said Amber VanOvermeiren of Superior.

Participants were able to pick up food for up to four households, or 16 boxes without leaving their cars.

The USDA provided the food through their Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

"They're getting a box each of the dairy, mixed dairy that has milk, butter, yogurt, cheese in there. We've got some cheese boxes. We've got meat boxes, with assorted meat products in it, and then we've also got produce boxes that have a really nice assortment of more shelf stable items," said Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank Food Resource Developer Katie Bull.

"Those distributions have fit a need where people might be recently unemployed, they might be underemployed because they're employer isn't fully up to speed, and doesn't need their full callback hours, so we were seeing more and more of those families that were coming to us for assistance at our distributions," said Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank Executive Director Shaye Moris.

And it's a lifeline for those families at a time it's needed most.

"It gives some kind of a ease just knowing that they're here to help us have food on the table, which is wonderful," said Birdseye-Kyrola.

"I don't know what families would do. I really don't. This has gone on a lot longer than I'm sure they thought it was, so Second Harvest is like a godsend for people I'm sure," said Mike Izzard of Superior.

Second Harvest plans to hold CFAP distributions up the North Shore on Wednesday. 

  • 10:00 AM at Grand Portage Community Center, 73 Upper Road
  • 12:30 PM at Cook County Food Shelf, 3rd Avenue West & 2nd Street, Grand Marais
  • 3:00 PM at Clair Nelson Community Center, 6866 Cramer Road, Finland

WDIO is partnering with local organizations to identify issues and to coordinate our community response. We can accomplish great things when we come together as a community. To learn more about Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, visit WDIO Creating Change.  Be part of the solution.


Ryan Juntti

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


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