Sanford donates $3 million to food banks across Upper Midwest

Sanford Bemidji and North Country Food Bank gathered today to announce Sanford’s $3 million donation to food banks across the Upper Midwest.

“At Sanford Health, we have always said we invest in the communities that we serve, and we have had a long-standing relationship with these organizations,” said Allison Suttle, M.D., Sanford Health senior vice president and chief medical officer. “Good health starts with good nutrition, and when we heard about the sharp increases in demand for food, we knew we needed to step in and help. Not having access to nutritious food can lead to the development of chronic illnesses and often aggravates the severity of existing conditions. This is a major investment in the well-being of our communities.”

Sanford Bemidji’s VP of Nursing Joy Johnson  was on hand during the United Way of Bemidji Area and North Country Food Bank’s “Farm to Families” food distribution event, and described some of the ways NCFB will use the donated money.

The donation coincides with the 75th anniversary of the United Nation’s World Food Day, which promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all. The United Nations estimates that two billion people do not have access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food on a regular basis. Research shows that food insecurity is linked to health risks including a range of chronic diseases in adults and developmental challenges in children.

Recipients of the donation in our area include North Country Food Bank, which serves 21 counties in northwest and west central Minnesota, as well as Second Harvest North Central Foodbank, headquartered in Grand Rapids.

Featured photo: Volunteers give away boxes of food in a drive-thru format at Sanford Event Center.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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