Programs & Services

Wildcat Backpack Program

The goal of the Wildcat Backpack Program is to ensure that all kids arrive at school fed and ready to learn. One in four students at the New London-Spicer Schools receives free/reduced priced school meals. Each of these students is at-risk of hunger, especially over the weekend.

During the school year, each child receives a backpack of food (about 5 pounds) for the weekend. Food items are healthy, easy to open and easy to prepare. They include: two entrees, two breakfast items, two snacks, two juice boxes and a fruit. Participation in the program is voluntary and confidential.

Donations of all sizes are needed to support the program.

Sponsor a child for:
– $6 week
– $60 for ten weeks
– $234 for the school year

Click here to donate.

Thank you to the following generous sponsors for making this program possible in the 2018-2019 school year:
$1,000: Wildcat Backpack Program Champions
3rd Opinion
The Happy Sol
Leo’s Legs fund of the Willmar Area Community Foundation

$500: Wildcat Backpack Program Advocates
Cross Roads Community Methodist Church
Kevin and Jennifer Dittbenner
Lake Region Bank

Food Pantry

No one should go hungry. No one.

That’s why The Link Board decided to open a Food Pantry in New London to “fill the gap” left when the Willmar Area Food Shelf closed its New London location in August 2016. Since then, The Link has experienced a steady stream of people from the community requesting food.

Transportation to other local food shelves, for some, is difficult, impossible or creates a cost burden. If we have people in the community struggling to afford the cost of food, they are likely struggling to fill their gas tank as well.

In addition, a family’s food needs often exceed the 2-3 day food allotment provided by other local food shelves — the Food Pantry will play a complementary role in addition to “filling the gap.”

Key items The Link Food Pantry will stock: Milk, eggs, bread, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, noodles and sauce, peanut butter, jelly, tuna.

The Food Pantry is serving an average of 50-70 households each month.

Tuesday: 9 am – 3 pm
Wednesday: 2 pm – 5 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 3 pm

In person – The Link, 206 N Main St New London, MN 56273
By mail – The Link PO Box 823 New London, MN 56273
Please add “food pantry” in the memo when paying by check.

Please contact Chasity or Ashley with any questions.

revive + redeem
boutique | thrift

The Link and the Community Closet are working more closely to give you two shops in one stop.

Thursday: 10 am – 3 pm
Friday: 10 am – 3 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 1 pm

Client Services &
Outreach Assistance

The Client Services & Outreach Program provides information, referral, advocacy and “fill the gap” assistance for people in need to meet their basic needs and support people as they strive to meet their goals.

The Link is a “fill the gap” organization. The Link provides resources only when other resources have been leveraged and does not duplicate.

Over the years, special projects have emerged, including:

  • The Link works with local churches and service groups to collect basic household and hygiene items to stock the Hope Care Pantry each spring.
  • The Link has been able to connect the generosity of community members with individuals and families struggling financially to have a joyful holiday season. Each year, The Link is able to connect the generosity of community members with families in need to receive Thanksgiving baskets and “Christmas Joy” (food and gifts.)

Tuesday’s Table

Tuesday’s Table is a weekly community meal focused on providing food and fellowship where relationships can flourish across socioeconomic lines and neighbors have the opportunity to serve one another. Tuesday’s Table is hosted at local churches and a business. Each week, over 25 volunteers plan, prepare and serve the meal. Since beginning in 2010, almost 60,000 meals have been provided. Everyone is welcome for food, friends, and fellowship!

  • First Tuesday: Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church in rural Spicer
  • Second Tuesday: Evangelical Covenant Church in New London
  • Third Tuesday: Faith Lutheran Church in Spicer
  • Fourth Tuesday: Peace Lutheran Church in New London
  • Fifth Tuesday: This is shared by several local groups including the New London and Spicer Lions groups, Open Door Christian Church & O’Neil’s, and Living Word Lutheran Church—contact The Link to confirm!

Household Exchange

Basic household goods are donated to the Household Exchange and provided to people in need in the community. The goods include linens, furniture, dishes and kitchenware.  Additionally, a washer and dryer are available for use at the Household Exchange. The Household Exchange is located at the New London location.

Tuesday: 9 am – 3 pm
Wednesday: 2 pm – 5 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 3 pm