Brooten Cares initiative is launched

Families or businesses in need asked to reach out for help

Concerned citizens of Brooten are asking families or businesses in need to reach out for help while the local area, region, state and nation muster strength and resources to combat the COVID-19 virus. The "Brooten Cares" initiative is a source for information for families and businesses in need of products or services and other needs that may arise. This is especially important during the period of time when Minnesotans are under Governor Tim Walz's "Stay at Home" executive order that went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 27. It should be noted and made clear that families are not limited on their ability to go purchase groceries and essential household items. However, senior citizens and others may be leery of going grocery shopping, but fortunately, options are available. Mike's Market in Brooten can deliver groceries with advance notice (320-346-4115). The Belgrade Hardware Store is open six days a week, and orders can be called in ahead of time for curb side pick up (320-254-8285).

Also, a takeout order guide for the local business community has been posted below (graphic).

This is a period of time when parents and business owners are under tremendous stress. The local church community is available to help as well, and the public is encouraged to contact their church leaders to reach out for any support that is needed.

*Note: we are open to suggestions on what can be done! There is no easy way to centralize the organization of the help we want to provide. The city of Brooten has no autonomous civic organization. We are on our own.

Facebook users can submit messages to the Brooten community Facebook page at

Families of the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa school district have been asked to contact the district to fill any needs for meals during the week days for children who are conducting distance learning activities from home. The Google form for that is found at The deadline to register for the following week is Fridays. As of Friday, April 3, over 230 meals are being delivered to homes or picked up at the school buildings each day.

The city of Brooten has closed city hall to the public, but phone calls are still being taken at 320-346-2524, and appointments with city staff can still be made.

If people need help getting groceries or finding access to the Food Shelf, they are asked to contact the Bonanza Valley Voice publisher at 320-346-2400. Voice mails will be checked every night and responded to the next morning. Business-related questions for government programs that are in effect can be phoned in as well, or business owners can e-mail to learn more. This e-mail account is checked multiple times daily.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that has received considerable news coverage across the country is an option for just about all local businesses (geared to businesses with 500 or fewer employees). It should be noted that approximately 75 percent of a loan should go towards payroll costs in order for it to be converted into a grant that does not have to be paid back.

Stearns County has provided the newspaper some guidelines on the Center for Disease Control's social (physical) distancing information. To help clarify physical distancing, here are some additional guidelines to follow.

• People can go outdoors, but even outside keep the minimal 6-foot distance.

• Backyard barbecues, unless with immediate family you live with every day, should be avoided.

• If you or your children are going to a playground, make sure they are the only ones playing there. If other children are there playing, you will need to wait until the others are gone or play in a different area of the playground - avoiding mixing with each other.

• Don't let kids mix with other kids outside the family. Children or youth as well should not get any closer than 6 feet to each other. Kids can get sick with this and we want to keep them safe.

• Avoid going into new environments and others' homes or spaces.


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