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Our Work

Partner Agency Capacity Building

Partner 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 SNAP application 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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© Great Plains Food Bank 2021