Each year we distribute more than 14 million pounds of food and grocery products to nearly 200 partners across North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota. Our partners are as strong and diverse as the staff and volunteers who operate them. This network, comprised of food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, afterschool programs, and other charitable feeding programs, are on the front lines every day distributing the food we supply directly into the hands of hungry children, seniors and working families. They are a vital link in our mission to end hunger as well as the emergency food chain. 

Partnership with GPFB offers many benefits:   

  • We work hand in hand with partners to support, guide and help accomplish the mission of feeding the hungry. 
  • Food assistance partners will have opportunities to access low- and no cost foods from the GPFB warehouse that are both donated and purchased. Partners will also have opportunities to participate in programming such as: The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Senior Food Pack, BackPacks, and Mobile Food Pantry. 
  • Partners will have access to best practices, innovative ideas and resources.   
  • Partners will have access to networking with nearly 200 hunger fighting organizations.   

Interested in becoming a partner? 

The Great Plains Food Bank celebrates the uniqueness of each partner, but maintains high standards of food safety, client treatment, and barrier elimination to ensure clients are served in a safe and dignified manner. When starting a food assistance program, it is important to consider other food programs and gaps in your community. We highly encourage collaboration with existing food assistance programs, but look forward to hearing about potential gaps a new partnership could fill. 

The partnership eligibility matrix is to be used as a visual to determine if the food assistance program is eligible for partnership. CLICK HERE. 

We accept applications at any time. The average application processing time is 4-6 weeks, however during October- January the process may take longer. Meeting eligibility requirements does guarantee partnership. We review all applications to ensure new partners are not duplicating services and filling a gap within the community. We strongly consider partnerships with those that exhibit thoughtful and organized intentions that align with our mission to end hunger in North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota.  

CLICK HERE  to download a partnership application.  

Applications can be scanned to info@greatplainsfoodbank.org or mailed to: Great Plains Food Bank ~ 1720 3rd Ave. N ~ Fargo, ND 58102. 

If you are not eligible for a traditional food assistance program partnership, please contact our Programs and Agency Services Department at 701-232-6219 for more information.

Partner agency capacity building

GPFB encourages partners to increase their capacity to grow in the mission to end hunger. Capacity building is a key role of the GPFB with partners and occurs in multiple forms, including gatherings, toolkits, and programming. Building agency capacity helps increase partners effectiveness and therefore enables partners to optimize food distribution to people at risk of hunger. 

Gatherings include quarterly all partner calls, regional meetings and food for thought sessions. Gatherings can take place both virtually and in person and all partners are invited to attend. At ‘food for thought’ sessions partners will be invited based on programming, geographic location, or similarities. These sessions are a time to connect, share information, and learn about best practices. 

Toolkits created by the GPFB can be used by partners to assist in best practice and idea sharing. Toolkits will be made available on the PARC and have a wide range of topics. 


Programs offered by the GPFB can be used to provide clients with additional food assistance or to target specific populations. 

  • Backpack Program (BPP) – Partners can join forces with their local school to provide kid-friendly, easy-to prepare food for children in their community. Backpacks can be purchased through GPFB as a pre-packed bag or as individual items to be packed by the local community.
  • Retail Food Rescue – Feeding America facilitates numerous national donor relationship, which benefit GPFB and in turn GPFB partners. Partners can work through Feeding America donor relationships to pick up and quickly distribute items to those in need. In the Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Dilworth, Bismarck, and Mandan, partners can receive deliveries of these items by GPFB staff. 
  • Senior Food Pack Program – Partners located in the orange counties below can get involved by distributing every other month commodities to individuals 60+ on a fixed income or by conducting outreach to ensure all seniors who may be eligible in their service area know about the program and have submitted an application.
  • SNAP Outreach – In 2008, GPFB started a partnership with the ND Department of Human Services to offer SNAP prescreening and application assistance to those who could benefit from the federal nutrition program. GPFB has two SNAP Outreach Coordinators on staff that help clients submit a SNAPapplication and make referrals to other services. Food pantries can help clients connect with SNAP in a few ways:

   1. Host a SNAP Outreach Coordinator onsite who can provide immediate prescreening and application support to your clients. 

   2. Post fliers at your pantry, promote the SNAP hotline on social media, hand out brochures directly to clients while they visit your pantry, or include SNAP Outreach efforts in your newsletters or other client communications. 

   3. Include SNAP prescreening questions in your intake process and provide a direct referral to GPFB. 

Contact snap@greatplainsfoodbank.org or a SNAP Outreach Coordinator for additional information. 

  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – TEFAP is federal program that supplements the diets of low-income individuals, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. The USDA purchases commodity foods and allocates them to each state. The state then works with agencies, such as food banks, to distribute the product to food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. TEFAP products are often highly desired items such as protein, peanut butter, shelf milk and other shelf stable items and are available at no cost to food assistance partners that are open to the public. The amount of food each State receives out of the total amount of food provided is based on the number of unemployed persons and the number of people with incomes below the state poverty level.

Partners are a vital part of the emergency food chain. GPFB staff provides technical assistance and training while ensuring partners meet food safety standards and provide fair and equitable service to clients. 



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