The best Christmas present we could have asked for
Hunger No More BLOG
Volume No. 1, Issue No. 9
By Jared Slinde
Spirits were high around the Great Plains Food Bank late last week.
We work hard every day to provide needed food assistance to tens of thousands of hungry individuals (more than 94,000 individuals annually to be exact). You see firsthand the struggles children, families and seniors see each day and imagine the position they would be in without this service. It’s humbling to say the least.
So when the phone call comes in that a gentleman in the community would like to make a substantial anonymous donation, it quickly grabs your attention and especially when it means there will be fewer kids going hungry ahead of the Christmas holiday. It goes without saying that these calls don’t happen every day. He is being referred to around the Great Plains Food Bank as the “Christmas Angel.”
The anonymous donor was concerned that kids in the local Fargo-Moorhead school systems were going hungry and was determined to help. It was laid out very clearly by Great Plains Food Bank Chief Development Officer Marcia Paulson what was needed to help fill that gap as our BackPack Program, which provides meals to kids on the weekends and over holidays when school lunches aren’t available, was running at capacity.
It was simple – trucking, volunteers, funding.
And as simple as it was stated, each item was promised and within hours a new truck had arrived at the Great Plains Food Bank warehouse and was quickly filled with backpacks to begin supplying the additional kids.
As mentioned, this doesn’t happen every day. What does happen every day is a staff works tirelessly to do all they can to be sure that no one goes hungry. When someone generously and selflessly makes this type of a donation, it not only raises spirits, but provides a sense of unity that working together one day we can solve hunger in North Dakota and western Minnesota.
Because of this donation, we are able to feed all the kids on a waiting list at one elementary school and add two additional schools in the community through the remainder of the school year and beyond. The look on the faces of the administration upon receiving the backpacks told the story. Their appreciation was impossible to keep hidden.
Thanks to this anonymous donation, an additional 70 kids that otherwise may have be going home on the weekends without enough food to eat will now be fed.
It was the best Christmas present any of us could have asked for.
Jared Slinde serves as communications manager with the Great Plains Food Bank.