As we reflect back on the past year, several words come to mind that portray our journey. Resiliency. Gratitude. Pivot. Partners. And yes, even Celebration.

We recently had the privilege of meeting Barilynn Everett at our mobile food pantry distribution in Twin Buttes. Her bright smile and personality were contagious as she waited her turn in line to receive a box of food you so generously helped provide. She managed to find time to sneak away from pursuing her degree in business management at United Tribes Technical College and from her job working inside Tribal housing to pick up the food necessary to feed her family. Times have been difficult for the family following her mother’s cancer diagnosis and the many challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, she showed GRATITUDE, and RESILIENCY in the face of obstacles, just as we at the Great Plains Food Bank have while meeting the needs of our hungry neighbors. We invite you to read more about Barilynn’s story on page six of this annual report.

We continue to PIVOT daily in response to the longer-than-expected COVID-19 pandemic. While we hoped by now it would be in the rearview mirror, it continues to be a serious burden for many families, children and seniors across North Dakota and Clay County, Minn. Although we did serve fewer individuals last year than in 2020, the number of individuals facing food insecurity last year are roughly 20,000 more people than at any point prior to the pandemic. It is a reminder of the crucial role we all play in our communities knowing that hunger now impacts one in six individuals across North Dakota – one in four are children.

While we certainly encountered challenges, we also made time to CELEBRATE the exciting and transformational progress made over the last year as well. We welcomed Melissa Sobolik as just the second CEO in the 39-year history of the Great Plains Food Bank. Her appointment follows the retirement of longtime CEO Steve Sellent, who was hired as the organization’s first director and dedicated 31 years of his life passionately working to end hunger. We launched a new strategic plan that will guide our work through 2025, that includes three audacious, bold goals aimed at ending hunger today, tomorrow and for good.

All of this was only possible because of you – our PARTNERS. As you look through the pages of this annual report, you’ll see contributions made by supporters, donors, volunteers and advocates just like you. Together, we were able to recover and distribute food for more than 12.6 million meals last year. Now that’s impact!

On behalf of a very grateful organization, thank you for continuing to support and walk alongside us as we work to End Hunger Together. As our most loyal partners in hunger-relief, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any thoughts and ideas via phone (701.232.6219), email (msobolik@greatplainsfoodbank.org) or in person.



Great Plain Food Bank


Great Plains Food Bank
Chair, Board of Directors


Private Contributions
Government Contracts and Grants
United Way and Private Grants
Program Revenue
Investments and Other Income
Paycheck Protection Program Contribution
USDA Commodity Food
Donated Food
Programs and Services
Fund Development
Management and General
Change in net assets
Net Assets at Beginning of Year
Net Assets at End of Year

The Great Plains Food Bank’s auditors have expressed an unmodified opinion on our financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. Those financial statements, which are available at GreatPlainsFoodBank.org, include associated notes that are essential to understanding the information presented herein.


1% Investments and Other Income
3% Paycheck Protection Program Contribution
4% Program Revenue
11% United Way and Private Grants
22% Government Contracts and Grants
58% Private Contributions


1% Management and General
3% Fund Development
96% Programs and Services

*Includes the value of donated food distributed of $32,728,547.


The Great Plains Food Bank’s auditors have expressed an unmodified opinion on our financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. Those financial statements, which are available at GreatPlainsFoodBank.org, include associated notes that are essential to understanding the information presented herein.


Throughout the year, the Great Plains Food Bank operated nine direct service programs across North Dakota and Clay County, Minn., to combat hunger for children, seniors and those living in rural communities. These programs were integral in our ability to provide more than 12.6 million meals to 121,440 individuals.


Bringing trucks full of fresh food to locations throughout North Dakota and Clay County, Minn., our mobile food pantry held distributions at 72 different sites and locations in 2021 providing more than 1.13 million meals.


Providing meals, milk, juice and snacks to children to help them make it through the weekend, our backpack program provided 139,027 backpacks to 5,096 kids in 138 communities.


Providing boxed meals during the summer months when school lunches are not available, the youth summer meals program provided 34,157 meals to 1,069 children.


A total of 32 food pantries are now serving 72 different schools in 20 communities through the Great Plains Food Bank School Pantry Program. The program provided 196,638 meals last year.


Helping low-income seniors throughout North Dakota, the senior food pack program helped 1,026 seniors in 35 communities in 2021.


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