Photo by Chad Koenen
Water’s Edge Church in Henning will be hosting a special free food distribution on Saturday morning at the church. The food is free and no income guidelines are required. 

No income guidelines required for free food distribution

By Chad Koenen


You might not be able to get much for free anymore—with the exception of a box full of food that is.

On Saturday, Water’s Edge Church will be hosting its first free food distribution. 

The program is being held in conjunction with the Farmers to Families program, as well as the Living Bread Food Distribution. There are no income guidelines to receive the food, or even a proof of residency. Those who attend simply need to show up and the volunteers will load the food in a vehicle for them.

“There isn’t any financial requirement, there isn’t any proof of residency,” said Deb Godding, who is helping to organize the event. “It is completely free and there isn’t any pre-registration required. The only thing that is required is that you like to eat.”

At a food distribution held in Verndale recently, a total of 1,300 units were delivered and included 5 lb. bags of potatoes, onions, apples, cheese, yogurt, milk and meat. What is actually included in each unit depends on what is available at the time of the distribution, but typically includes several staples like produce, protein and dairy. 

“They are suppose to provide produce, protein and dairy,” said Godding. 

Depending upon how many people show up for the food distribution, each vehicle may be able to receive more than one unit. People can also pick up units for neighbors and friends to help get the food out to more people in need.

“People can pick up for others. We prefer if they pick up for others that they have a name and where it is going to,” said Godding.

“There isn’t any financial requirement, there isn’t any proof of residency. It is completely free and there isn’t any pre-registration required. The only thing that is required is that you like to eat.”

Deb godding

Funding for the program comes from COVID-19 relief funds, but food distributions have been occurring in the region for a number of years. What makes this food distribution unique is that there is no charge for the food. 

Godding and her husband Chuck have been working with the Living Bread Food Distribution in Eagle Bend, Minn. since a food distribution began at a church in that community quite some time ago. When the family moved to the Henning area they tried to get a similar food distribution going in the Henning community, but were unable to do so due to the close proximity of other food distribution drop points.

When COVID-19 hit and additional funding became available, Godding was asked if she was still interested in helping to organize a food distribution at the Water’s Edge Church.

“The organizer for our area called me and asked me if I would be interested in having one at our church and I said absolutely,” she said.

The food drop will be held on Saturday at the Water’s Edge Church. The truck is scheduled to arrive at 10 a.m. and the food distribution is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., depending upon when the truck arrives to town. 

Vehicles are asked to line up behind Water’s Edge Church and along Balmoral Ave. to St. Edward’s Catholic Church. The vehicles will then come through Water’s Edge Church parking lot and exit through the parking lot to the front of the church. While no firm dates have been set, Godding said there are plans to hold additional food distributions in March and April.

Additional food drops are also being planned in Bertha, Eagles Bend, Verndale, Alexandria and Detroit Lakes.