The North Country Food Bank is planning to host “The Great Corn Giveaway” from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, in the parking lot at the Ace Hardware store, 1017 Central Ave. N.W., East Grand Forks.

Everyone is welcome to stop by and pick up sweet corn, said Scott Johnson, development director for the North Country Food Bank, East Grand Forks. Bags will be provided, but people can bring their own bags if they prefer.

Organizers are expecting to give away between 20,000 and 25,000 pounds of sweet corn, said Susie Novak, executive director of the food bank.

The purpose of the event is to help raise awareness about the food bank’s effort to fight hunger throughout northwest Minnesota and Grand Forks, Johnson said.

The food bank has partnered with Thorson Farming of East Grand Forks and CHS Ag Services in this corn giveaway. Thorson Farming dedicated a portion of land for growing the sweet corn near East Grand Forks, Johnson said, and CHS Ag Services provided the corn seed, as well as the tractor and planter to plant the seed.

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“My sons and I are very grateful to be able to farm in the heart of the Red River Valley, and wanted to do something to give back,” said John Thorson, of Thorson Farming, a former member of the North Country Food Bank board.

“There are people right here in our community who don’t know when they will get to eat their next meal,” said Thorson, who has dedicated land for the annual corn giveaway for the past five years.

“This is why we wanted to be involved in this project -- to help make sure everybody knows about and helps support the work North Country is doing every day to make sure no children, senior citizens, veterans, families and friends in our community have to wonder how they will put dinner on the table tonight.”

The corn donated by Thorson Farming “is some of the best corn -- it’s Red River Valley-grown, so it’s the best stuff,” Novak said. It’s “much sweeter” than corn the food bank has been receiving from southern Minnesota, she added.

North Country Food Bank, one of five food banks in Minnesota, is the sole distributor of surplus quality food and non-food products in northwest and west-central Minnesota.