Contact: Marcia Paulson, (701) 232-6219
(Fargo, ND) – June 18, 2013 – The Great Plains Food Bank, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, is offering a new model of hunger relief for children living in an income-eligible neighborhood in Fargo. Free meals are provided to any child under the age of 18 during the summer months when other food resources may not be available. Last school year in the Cass-Clay community, 9,226 children qualified for and greatly relied on the free and/or reduced lunch program at school; but during the summer months, many of these children struggle with hunger. To fill this summer nutrition gap, the Great Plains Food Bank is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer the Summer Food Service Program.
“For some, when school lets out, hunger settles in,” says Cierra Thibert child nutrition coordinator for the Great Plains Food Bank. “The Summer Food Service Program is under-utilized in North Dakota, so we designed a model that is easy to administer and brings meals directly to where kids eligible for the program hang out – a park. We’ve been in the business of providing food to those in need for more than 30 years. This effort deepens our commitment to ending childhood hunger even further.”
Great Plains Food Bank staff and volunteers distribute the free meals, Monday through Friday from 12-12:30 p.m. at the Village West Park, 4415 9th Ave. Circle S, Fargo. The program runs through August 16.
The need for emergency food assistance is great in North Dakota and western Minnesota. In 2012, the Great Plains Food Bank distributed food for 9.4 million meals to more than 75,000 individuals – 35% children – struggling with hunger. The Summer Food Service Program distribution effort, and the Great Plains Food Bank’s summer BackPack Program are nutrition links between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. To volunteer or learn more, visit www.greatplainsfoodbank.org or call (701) 232-6219.
About the Great Plains Food Bank
The Great Plains Food Bank engages community partners to end hunger. As the state’s largest hunger-relief provider, the Great Plains Food Bank partner network includes 259 charitable feeding programs operating in 101 communities across North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota. Celebrating its 30th year of service, the Great Plains Food Bank and its statewide partner network of food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and other charitable feeding programs have distributed food for more than 100 million meals to children seniors and families in need since opening its doors in 1983. The Great Plains Food Bank is a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, a statewide social services agency serving thousands of North Dakotans in need with affordable housing, food, disaster recovery, counseling and therapy and other programs that strengthen individuals, families and communities without regard to clients’ race, religion, gender or economic status; and a member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call toll free (866) 632-9922 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.