Area Events

American Red Cross Blood Drives (can find information and book an appointment at
Fri. 5/29 Clow Stamping in Merrifield 1pm-6pm
Wed. 6/3 Essentia Health Sports Center Brainerd 8:30am-2:30pm
Thurs. 6/4 Riverside Elementary School Brainerd 12p-5p
Fri. 6/5 Aitkin United Methodist Church 12p-6p

The Pequot Lakes Community Library is open full hours once again! Masks and social distancing is required for patrons. For those that would like to use curbside delivery, request materials by placing holds using the library’s website at; emailing; or calling 218- 568-6181. Provide a phone number; a volunteer will call when the order is ready. Kitchigami Regional Library System pickup is also available.

The Cuyuna Lakes Lunch Bunch - organized by area churches and CRMC, will be providing area youth with free lunches again this summer. Lunches are available starting Thursday, May 28th through Friday, September 4th. They will be at the following locations:11:15 to 11:35 a.m. in Ironton at Grandpa’s Park; 11:45 a.m.-12:05 p.m. at Crosby Food Shelf, 302 Cross Ave.; and 12:15 to 12:35 p.m. in Deerwood at Veteran’s Park across from the American Legion. Volunteers preparing and distributing lunches will take all safety precautions including wearing gloves and masks.The Cuyuna Lakes Lunch Bunch’s goal is to provide meals for students who normally receive free or reduced lunches through school programs. The lunches are prepared and distributed by several local volunteers. For more information or to contribute to the Lunch Bunch, contact Ellen Brandt at St. Vincent de Paul,


Baxter Cafe & Catering, along with Raboin & Francis Law Office and Pan-O-Gold Bakery continues to provide free weekend lunch meals for students under 18 years of age. Call 829-1739 between 8am and 10:30am Saturday to pickup order between 11:30 and 12:30. Bagging 2 meals per student for the weekend.

The Lakes Area Farmer’s Markets are back up and running for the season!  The markets are open TUESDAYS from 8:00-12:30 at The Franklin Arts Center parking lot.... THURSDAYS from 8:00 – 12:30 at the Nisswa American Legion...and on FRIDAYS from 8:00-12:30 at the Vikingland Harley Davidson parking lot in Brainerd.  Due to COVID-19, they will have a hand washing station at each market and ask that you wash your hands going IN and coming OUT of the market.  They ask that you not touch any of the products/food..the vendor will get it for you.  And they do NOT REQUIRE, but they do encourage you to wear a mask. 

Pine River Market Square is held 2:30-5:30 p.m. Fridays through September 25. The Pine River Chamber Info Center grounds will host the farmers market along the Paul Bunyan State Trail parallel to Highway 371 on the corner of Barclay Avenue and Highway 371 at the traffic light. Growers and crafters within 60 miles of Pine River and meet the market vendor guidelines are welcome for the upcoming season. For vendor guidelines and applications, visit visit or call market manager Mim Brien at 218-838-1943,

Crow Wing County Household Hazardous Waste is again open for the season at the Crow Wing County Landfill and is a free service for all CWC residents.  HHW will be open the second Wednesday and second Satruday of each month from 8:00-4:00, through September. This is a time to dispose of old paint cans, cleaners, automotive products, rechargeable batteries and other chemicals.  Upon arrival at the site, stop in front of the Landfill Office and an attendant will direct you how to proceed.  Due to the pandemic, all items brought in must be on a trailer, in your trunk or in your trunk bed.  You must remain in your vehicle.  And the Product Exchange will not be open until further notice.  For more info, visit and search Household Hazardous Waste or call 824-1290.

The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes Area and Ganley's Restaurant in Nisswa will kick off summer with another pan-fried walleye dinner Friday, June 5th. Dinner includes baked potato and cole slaw. Call 218-232-3528 between 8am and 8pm any day to order. Pick up your meals drive-thru style at Ganley's in Nisswa between 5-7:30pm. Cost is free will donation, with suggested $10 per meal. Proceeds help The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes Area, which packs 37,000 meals per week to help 25 different entities get meals to those in need throughout the Brainerd Lakes Area.

Brainerd Salvation Army Food Shelf: 

Tuesday, we open from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we open 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Pine River and Crosslake Senior Nutrition Program: The Senior Nutrition Program still offers a nutritionally balanced meal 11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday in Pine River and Crosslake. People must pick them up at the door of Heartland Apartments, 445 Snell Ave. in Pine River or have meals delivered by Meals on Wheels. To order a meal or Meals on Wheels in Pine River, call 218-587-2921. To order a meal by noon a day in advance or for Meals on Wheels in Crosslake, call 218-692-4271.

Region 5 Lutheran Social Services Meals Locations: Linked here.

Aitkin County Food Shelves: Linked here

Pine River Community Meals at Riverview Church is take-out only from 4-6 p.m. Mondays

Backus Meals at the Senior Center are 4-6 p.m. Thursdays curbside take-out only.

The Cuyuna Range Food Shelf is open the second and third Wednesday of the month from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and by appointment in an emergency. The food shelf is located at 302 Cross Avenue North in Crosby. Please call 546-7444 for an appointment.

Emily Area Food Shelf, located at 20948 County Road 1, is open the third Wednesday of each month from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and the following day of the same week, Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. For more information contact Nancy Moritz at 763-3663. 

Lakes Area Food Shelf, 29316 Patriot Ave, Pequot Lakes,  is open from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as from 5-7 p.m. the first and third Thursday of the month.

Pine River Food Shelf is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, as well as 3:30-6 p.m. the second Tuesday of  the month.

Crosslake Food Shelf is open from 9 a.m. to noon the first and third Friday of the month.

Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen, 923 Oak Street Brainerd: Operation Sandwich one day per week - Thursdays - at the Soup Kitchen. Pick up time is from 5:30 p.m to 6:00 p.m. There are two kinds of food bags available-one for families who can cook and have a refrigerator and the other for the families who don’t. Families should ask for the bag that meets their requirements.

Motley Area Food Shelf is open 9 a.m. to noon most Thursdays and 6-8 p.m. on the last Thursday of the month. Anyone needing immediate assistance may call 218-352-6344.

The Journey North's Ruby's Pantry - Brainerd Lakes Area Ruby’s Pantry is “a hand up, not a hand out.” For a $20 cash donation you will receive a "share" with up to $120 or more worth of groceries.There is no limits of how many shares that can be purchased at this time.

Ruby’s Pantry food distribution for the Brainerd Area is  the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Food distribution begins at 11:00 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. Ruby’s Pantry has no government funding. It is primarily funded by the contributions of our guests.

When you arrive at a distribution for the first time you will need to register and then sign in. This is a simple registration that requires no documentation. After the first time you will need to simply sign in. The $20 is paid first, then your registration form is handed in/signed in and you will be given a number.

Contact The Journey North Community Church at 218.824.5617 about volunteer opportunities at Ruby's!


Faith in Action: Those who are unable to get out may be able to call Faith in Action of Cass County for delivery of groceries, prescription medicines and some pick-up food (services may change as shelter-in-place orders change). Services are offered in Backus, Hackensack, Remer/Longville, Pillager, Pine River, and Outing. Call 218-675-5435 for assistance.

Interfaith Volunteers is expanding their services to offer phone calling to the lonely, homebound, and isolated who may be in need of social contact. Interfaith Volunteers also will deliver groceries, medications, run errands, or help in other ways. If you or someone you know is in need of those services, please call Interfaith Volunteers at 218-820-7454. If you or someone you know is ready to help, call that same number.

Annual Clean-Up Day for Beulah Township and Crooked Lake Township  CANCELLED 

FOOD DRIVE: Check out the Food Drive at 3 local grocery stores in the Area. Stop by anytime until June 5th at Paulbeck's in Aitkin, Ukura's Big Dollar in McGregor, or Roadsie Market in Hill City!

There is a dire need for help and donations at the Mid Minnesota Women’s Center in Brainerd and the Alex & Brandon Child Safety Center. With many people forced to stay home, many are stuck at home with their abusers, and many are needing to leave their situation. That has put a strain on the centers as they want to help. The center is in dire need of the following items (MUST BE NEW... the only “used” items they can take are phones)- Gloves and masks, Bleach and other cleaning supplies, Antibacterial soap and Hand Sanitizer, Toilet paper, Paper towels, Personal hygiene products, Non-perishable food items, Stamps, Dial-A-Ride Tickets, Used/refurbished cell phones, and any donations of cash or in-kind support to make these items available. Those who can donate are asked to drop off the items outside of the facility at 1414 Maple Street in Brainerd and then call the office to let them know they are there. 218-828-1216.

A walking group in Crosslake invites others to join 45-minute walks along routes in Crosslake. Walkers participate according to their ability.

The group is striving to meet at 11 a.m. weekdays in the Lake Country Crafts and Cones parking lot, advocating that walking is the best exercise for the entire body and mind.

This is open to everyone. The group works to social distance. Gloves and masks are optional.

If interested in participating, call Donna Keiffer, senior fitness instructor, at 218-821-1158.