Come snowstorm or blizzard. Come summer hail storms and tornado or drought, there is help and food for the hungry. Now, during the worldwide pandemic, nothing changes at the dining room of the Northlands Rescue Mission. Clients living in the mission continue to eat inside the dining room. And the programs helping the general public continue, according to director Sue Shirek.

Breakfast begins at 5 a.m. And it continues until 8 a.m. There’s lunch from noon until 12:45 p.m. And the evening meal runs from 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

“Nobody needs to be hungry or alone,” says Shirek. And in these times of trouble, Shirek says there is a feeling of steadiness in the large dining room. It comes with help of businesses and individuals in the Grand Forks area.

“We have salads, vegetables, meat, potatoes – good, hardy food,” Shirek says. She describes it as home cooking. And at times, it varies with something like a Mexican meal.

“Something different,” she says.

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Those clients who eat buffet style at the Mission pick up their food. There are 14 tables. And during these times with a need to prevent contagion, there are only two at a time seated at the tables. Shauna Lorenzen works as service manager with help of volunteers and only two other paid staff members.

As the days pass and the challenges prevent large gatherings, the work of the Mission continues.

“This is what we do,” says Shirek. “This is our job.’’

She has been on her job since May of 2017. She says, “We have a transient population and close quarters.”

At this time, there are 47 people living at the Northlands Rescue Mission. It had its beginnings on DeMers Avenue in October of 1942. It started as the ministry of the Rev. Joseph Trankina and his family.

Now, Northlands Rescue Mission continues to reach out from its dining room to see that nobody goes hungry. It works with programs such as the citywide backpack lunch available to about 750 children.

Shirek said people are helping out to make sure everyone is fed. “We are doing well on supplies. More people are coming in for food baskets.”

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Northlands Rescue Mission

420 Division Avenue

Director: Sue Shirek

Hours: 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. breakfast; noon to 12:45 p.m. lunch; 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. dinner

Report card: Northlands Rescue Mission rates high in its goal – making sure nobody needs to be hungry or alone. During troubled times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, there are three meals served daily inside along with help that goes outside the Mission.