For over 35 years, KCFA has been helping to increase food access in our community. We, along with all of our partners, continue to work towards a hunger free Koochiching County.
Addressing the rural food crisis in Koochiching County with dignity and compassion.
All people in Koochiching County should have reliable access to affordable, appropriate, healthy foods of choice.
KCFA is the primary organization working to end food insecurity and hunger in Koochiching County. We provide food, free of cost, to anyone struggling to meet their food needs. We believe all people in our community should have reliable access to affordable food with as few barriers as possible. As grocery prices continue to soar, KCFA can provide food support for you and your household.
KCFA was founded as Falls Hunger Coalition (FHC) in 1988.The organization emerged from an anti-hunger workshop held in International Falls to address the increasing degrees of food insecurity in the town following a wave of large-scale layoffs at the paper mill in the 1980s. An anti-hunger workshop was held in International Falls to address the increasing degrees of food insecurity in the town. For more than thirty years, the organization has provided a core service to the town as rates of poverty and food insecurity have grown: the consistent and reliable provision of food without cost to those who need it.
Space for the food shelf was rented at the ‘old’ Falls High School. The food shelf provided pre-packed boxes of staple food to income eligible shoppers, once every 60 days.
Falls Hunger Coalition left their location and moved into the Forestland Building where it would remain located until 2020.
In response to changing trends in hunger relief, the food shelf decided to go to 100% choice shopping. This shopping model enabled shoppers to select their own food, much like a grocery store, allowing the ability to choose from a wide variety of foods and better enabling clients to meet their personal dietary needs.
In October of 2020 Falls Hunger made the decision to relocate to the Backus Building. The organization was also able to purchase commercial refrigerators and freezers to store more perishable food. This equipment upgrade allowed Falls Hunger to offer shoppers more of the foods shoppers want, according to the Minnesota Food Shelf Survey.
In 2021 the coalition expanded to include three school pantries (Falls High, Indus and Littefork/ Big Falls), and a food shelf on the campus of Rainy River Community College.
In January 2023 , after a long process, Falls Hunger Coalition officially began a new chapter as Koochiching County Food Access (KCFA). The new name reflects our organization’s commitment to work towards food security for everyone in Koochiching County, regardless of their geographic location.
After being in operation for 35 years KCFA finally purchased their own facility on April 5, 203. This has been a long time goal of the organization and will allow us to serve the community is a wide variety of ways and more efficiently.
Food Shelf Manager
2023 Board of Directors
We acknowledge that this organization stands on Ojibwe land ceded in the 1866 Treaty with the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. We pay respect to our Ojibwe neighbors, co-workers, friends, and relatives, and honor the elders both past and present in this region including those living across Gojijiji-zaaga’igan (Rainy River) on and around Couchiching First Nation in Canada. We acknowledge that Indigenous people have stewarded the land and the waters running through it since time immemorial, and that this stewardship has been closely tied to the cultivation and defense of Indigenous foodways in the face of erasure by settler society and its associated food systems. We commit ourselves to ongoing dialogue, learning, and practical collaboration with communities of the town and region in support of Indigenous foodways as a core component of our commitment to food access in general. We proceed in the ethical spirit of what educators at Bemidji State University call Niizhoo-gwayakochigewin (“two ways of doing the right thing in the right way”) and recognize the work of community-based knowledge-bearers, teachers, artists, and scientists throughout Minnesota, Ontario, and the broader ancestral region of Anishinaabe and other Indigenous peoples on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border.