Contact: Marcia Paulson, (701) 232-6219
Cando Area Food Pantry awarded Five Star Certification
Fargo, ND – December 30, 2014 – The Great Plains Food Bank, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, proudly presents the Cando Area Food Pantry as a certified Five Star Food Pantry.
To qualify for Five Star certification, program leaders complete a nine-section application process covering 78 areas of best practices, including: program’s mission and vision, client access and distribution practices, board and volunteer recruitment and engagement, financial strength and strategic planning, community support and engagement, and food safety. Food pantries that meet or exceed 75% of the identified best practices earn the three-year certification, the highest honor possible for a North Dakota food pantry. The Cando Area Food Pantry meets or exceeds almost 95% of the recommended best practices for food pantries, placing it among the best of all food pantries.
Five Star Food Pantry candidates are often identified by their willingness to adapt to the changing hunger needs of a community and demonstrate the best practices in their field. Such was the case with the Cando Area Food Pantry.
“We have seen the thoughtful, creative, hard work of the Cando Area Food Pantry’s dedicated volunteers for years, said Jessica Arneson, agency relations manager. “We are excited to have the opportunity to give them this exclusive honor. Towner County should be proud to have this well-run organization serve the communities in the area. We are proud to stand alongside them in their work to make sure that all in the Cando area have enough food to eat!”
The Great Plains Food Bank began the Five Star certification program in 2011 as a way to lift up and recognize food pantries that go above and beyond to meet the food needs in their area in a way that is sustainable for years to come. The Cando Area Food Pantry is the second food pantry to earn the certification, and is the only pantry program to become Five Star certified that is completely volunteer driven. In addition to special recognition and accolades, the Five Star certified Cando Area Food Pantry will also be lifted up as a role model for other food pantries across the state.
About the Great Plains Food Bank
The Great Plains Food Bank serves as North Dakota’s only food bank. Its partner network includes 321 programs (food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and other charitable feeding programs) operating in 113 communities across N.D. and Clay County, Minn. Since 1983 the Great Plains Food Bank and its partners have distributed food for more than 107 million meals to children, seniors, and families in need. 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.