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Hunger Relief Champions & Agency of the Year Announced

Great Plains Food Bank Recognizes Community Partners
For Outstanding Efforts in Hunger Relief

March 30, 2012 – FARGO, ND - The Great Plains Food Bank, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, honored two statewide partners with its 2011 Hunger Relief Champion Award, and named its Agency of the Year recipient.

The 2011 Hunger Relief Champion awards were presented to the North Dakota Community Action Partnership, and Microsoft and its employees, because of their extraordinary contributions and commitment to end hunger. These honorees were recognized for their decades-long partnerships with the Great Plains Food Bank, their creativity and organization-wide commitment, for being innovators and solution focused, and for extending the invitation to employees and other like minded community entities to join them in their work to alleviate hunger. “Their incredible support which has been demonstrated in so many ways over the years, heart-felt compassion for our many neighbors struggling with hunger, and belief in the work that we do embodies the spirit of this award,” says Steve Sellent, program director for the Great Plains Food Bank. “As we move closer to our vision of hunger free communities, we are honored to have these organizations helping lead the way.”
The Great Plains Food Bank also named Cando Area Food Pantry as their Agency of the Year recipient, the highest honor given to one of their 290 hunger relief partner agencies. “We are so excited to award this year’s Agency of the Year to the Cando Area Food Pantry,” shares Melissa Sobolik, director of agency and client services for the Great Plains Food Bank. “They run a fantastic operation and have made great strides over the past couple of years. They are extremely dedicated and are always looking for new ways to reach out to those in need and serve them in a very dignified way.” In 2011, the Cando Area Food Pantry distributed 13,300 pounds of food, providing for more than 10,000 meals to their hungry neighbors in need.
The Great Plains Food Bank and their partner network of food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and other charitable feeding programs served more than 71,400 individuals in 2011 - touching the lives of 1 in 11 individuals seeking emergency food assistance in North Dakota and western Minnesota.
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About the Great Plains Food Bank
The Great Plains Food Bank strives for a hunger-free North Dakota and western Minnesota by recovering and distributing surplus food and grocery product, engaging in community partnerships and advocating for social change. In 2011, the Great Plains Food Bank distributed a record 9.4 million pounds of food, touching the lives of more than 71,400 individuals – 35% being children and 14% seniors. As the state’s largest hunger-relief provider, the Great Plains Food Bank partner network includes 290 charitable feeding programs operating in 109 communities. The Great Plains Food Bank is a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, a nonprofit social services agency serving one in nine North Dakotans annually from offices in five cities with 19 programs that strengthen individuals, families and communities.

Contact: Marcia Paulson, (701) 232-6219


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