Programs & Services


BackPack Program

We believe that when a child is fed, they are equipped to learn, grow and imagine a future filled with opportunity.

Childhood hunger has an impact in our communities. During the school year more than 33,000 children across North Dakota qualify for and greatly rely on the federal free and reduced lunch program to meet their daily nutritional needs. But on weekends, many of these children struggle with hunger.

Hunger amongst our children can have lifelong and extremely costly consequences. Hungry children suffer physical, emotional and developmental impairment. They are sick and hospitalized more often. Hungry children don't learn as well at school, which in turn, limits their potential and productivity as adults. Adults who experienced hunger as children are often not as well prepared mentally, emotionally, physically, or socially to perform in today's work environment.

Join us as we tackle childhood hunger. It's as simple as 1...2...3!

1 - Donate Food
We are in need of kid-friendly food items to send home with students on the weekends. Anything microwavable and easy to open is welcome! The top 5 food items are:

Individual 4-6 oz Juice Boxes
Granola Bars (individually labeled)
Individual Cereal Boxes (individually labeled)
Mandarin Oranges
Easy Mac (Individual Portions)

2 - Donate Funds
Currently it costs $5.00 to fill a backpack with milk, juice, snacks and food for three meals. To sponsor a child for an entire year, it costs $190. If you would like to ensure children have what they need to learn and grow, donate here.

3 - Volunteer Your Time
Each week, volunteers of all ages are welcomed to assist with hunger relief efforts at the Great Plains Food Bank, 1720 3rd Ave. N in Fargo. If you are interested in volunteering contact our volunteer coordinator, Caroline McGuire at

For more information about starting the BackPack in your school contact:
Cathy Herbold, Program Manager
(701) 232-6219