The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes packages highly nutritious, life-saving meals for starving children and malnourished children and their families in developing countries and the United States. The goal of the organization is for its meals to provide a stable nutritional base from which recipient families can move their families from starvation to self-sufficiency. The Food Distribution program delivers these shelf-stable meals to area food shelves to supplement other offerings.
The Youth Pack Program at the Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes provides an opportunity for area youth from local high schools to give back to the community by packing meals for local area food shelves.
The Central Lakes College Food Pantry collects overstock and unused food and produce from area retail stores, and redistributes them to local hunger-fighting organizations to then distribute to those that face food insecurity.
Bridges of Hope, in partnership with law enforcement, Crow Wing County, nonprofit organizations, church partners, and community members recognized the need for a safe place for homeless adults (ages 18+) to sleep in our community. This group has come together in a collaborative effort to address homelessness by providing a low-barrier warming shelter that will offer a safe place for individuals to rest for the night.
By engaging school-age children and youth, this program helps them learn basic gardening and/or construction skills. They also meet the families that served and learn how to work together to help others. Many parents and mentors are interested in having young people work on our building sites, but this is not always possible due to child labor laws. Therefore, special events are held where volunteers work beside young people to build a needed project for a home: such as a picnic table or a rain garden. Youth are able to practice basic building skills and they work as a team, with adult volunteers, to complete a useful project that they can take pride in.
Salvation Army's services provides support for those facing hunger, homelessness, or other critical emergency needs. Forms of assistance include food boxes, hygiene items and cleaning supplies, utility assistance, emergency lodging or rent or mortgage payments, clothing, transportation, and help with medical needs. The Pathway of Hope program provides individualized services to families with children who desire to take action to break the cycle of crisis and vulnerability, providing access to resources, increasing financial literacy, and increasing long-term stability.