Contact: Marcia Paulson, (701) 232-6219
Great Plains Food Bank receives $500,000 Bush Prize for Community Innovation
Foundation recognizes track record of inspiring others, making great ideas happen
(December 19, 2013) – The Great Plains Food Bank, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, was chosen by the Bush Foundation to receive their first annual Bush Prize for Community Innovation along with eight other organizations across North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. The Great Plains Food Bank will receive a $500,000 grant to support their work, and inspire others to think differently about how to approach problem-solving in their communities.
The Bush Prize honors and supports organizations with a track record of making great ideas happen through innovative, inclusive and collaborative processes. Following a landmark study that identified unmet hunger needs and gaps in service, the Great Plains Food Bank implemented nine new programs that increased the number of meals provided for those experiencing hunger in North Dakota and western Minnesota from four to more than 10 million meals annually, while growing the number of individuals served from 55,835 to 78,699 over the past five years.
“Partnerships and community collaborations serve as the foundation of our work to end hunger,” says Steve Sellent, program director for the Great Plains Food Bank. “We are honored to receive this Bush Prize award and will use the funds to expand and evolve our work to address child, senior and rural hunger, as well as to develop new initiatives to tackle the root causes of hunger through community-based solutions.”
The Bush Prize for Community Innovation was awarded to the Great Plains Food Bank for their effort to engage hunger-relief partners and those most affected by hunger in Creating a Hunger Free North Dakota, the first ever comprehensive study of North Dakota’s charitable response to food security. This study was the impetus for a number of breakthrough and sustainable services aimed at addressing hunger, including a mobile food pantry, fresh produce initiative, partner agency capacity building program, retail store food donation program, SNAP outreach services, and weekend and summer feeding programs for children.
Learn more about the 2013 Bush Prize winners at BushFoundation.org/2013BushPrize.
About the Great Plains Food Bank
The Great Plains Food Bank engages community partners to end hunger. As the state’s largest hunger-relief provider, the Great Plains Food Bank partner network includes 266 charitable feeding programs operating in 104 communities across North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota. Celebrating its 30th year of service, the Great Plains Food Bank and its statewide partner network of food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and other charitable feeding programs have distributed food for more than 100 million meals to children seniors and families in need since opening its doors in 1983. The Great Plains Food Bank is a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, a statewide social services agency serving thousands of North Dakotans in need with affordable housing, food, disaster recovery, counseling and therapy and other programs that strengthen individuals, families and communities without regard to clients’ race, religion, gender or economic status; and a member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network.