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The Great River Adventure.

Ed Patrias’ bucket list has always included a boat trip from his dock on Lake Movil in Bemidji to the Gulf of Mexico.  2024 seemed like a good year to realize that dream. The route will take them over 2000 miles, from Lake Movil near Bemidji to Mobile Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico.  He, and his wife, Marla, began planning for the types of boats they would need to navigate the varying depths of the Northern Minnesota portions of the rivers, and the many other details associated with a journey of this type. As they did so, Ed couldn’t help but feel that an endeavor of this sort should benefit more than just them, and the family and friends who would join them on this adventure. He felt like it should also benefit a cause that serves their community.  As a volunteer of the Bemidji Food Shelf, this important community organization seemed to be a perfect fit. ​

Food insecurity is at an all-time high, food shelves across Minnesota have been seeing record breaking number of visits, Bemidji Food Shelf included. With inflation surpassing wage growth, many families are finding themselves needing help, where none was needed before. Now that Covid era state and federal support has ended for most programs, families who are lagging behind in the economic recovery are turning to food stamps and food shelves to feed their families. 

In 2023 the Bemidji Community Food Shelf set a record for number of people helped in a 12-month period, a 25% increase over the previous year, and in the first quarter of 2024, double digit growth continues with increases of 24% over last year.  Individual and business donors make up 80% of their annual budget, and with the increases they are experiencing, our help is needed now more than ever.


You can become a virtual team member of the Great River Adventure by making a gift to the Bemidji Community Food Shelf. The goal is to raise $15,000 and make a significant impact on feeding the families who need our help in Bemidji. To donate, use our secure online link below or mail a check to Bemidji Community Food Shelf, PO Box 3118 Bemidji, MN 56619

Ed's Bio

After earning an AA in Forestry from Vermillion Community College and a BA in Business from Bemidji State, Ed spent his entire 38-year career with Potlatch, first in forestry and then in then leasing and selling company land. After retiring in 2018, Ed became a volunteer for the Bemidji Community Food Shelf and is living his best life full of adventure.  Ed and Marla continue to make their home in Bemidji.

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