FARGO, N.D. – For their extraordinary efforts to end hunger in their communities, the Great Plains Food Bank has named Merrill Lynch, Dakota Medical Foundation and Larry Schumacker as 2016 Hunger Relief Champions. Each recipient has displayed years of exceptional commitment to the mission of the Great Plains Food Bank.
“We are honored to recognize these individuals as our Hunger Relief Champions for 2016,” Great Plains Food Bank CEO Steve Sellent said. “These recipients are truly leading the way by their work in the fight to end hunger and epitomize the spirit of the Great Plains Food Bank and its donors, partners and volunteers.”
Merrill Lynch has created a culture of giving and earned the moniker of Hunger Relief Champion following years of commitment to the Great Plains Food Bank. A premier sponsor of the annual Chefs’ Gala & Auction, a top annual event hosted by the Great Plains Food Bank for the past 10-plus years, Merrill Lynch has also served as the kickoff volunteer group for the annual Packathon since its inception. These services are all in addition to being regular donors to the food bank.
A donor to the Great Plains Food Bank since 1996, Dakota Medical Foundation have been supporters on all levels. This includes everything from a gift of $189,000 in 1999 toward a warehouse freezer to being the initial driving force behind social media presence for the Great Plains Food Bank with their work spearheading Giving Hearts Day. Their continued support has gone to helping our children’s Backpack Program, Perishable Food Recovery Program, training and support to help build our capacity to meet the needs of our hungry neighbors and have been a sponsor of the annual Chefs’ Gala & Auction each year since 2007.
A longtime friend of the Great Plains Food Bank, Larry Schumacker brought neighbors and community members of Fullerton, N.D., together during the fall season to help in harvesting squash, corn and pumpkins all to be donated. In 2016 alone, his fresh produce donations to the Great Plains Food Bank totaled more than 38,000 pounds. A driving force within the community as well, the groups he brought together to assist in the harvest included the Fullerton Achievers 4-H Club and the Oaks Boy Scout Troop #147, among others. In 2014, Larry donated his 100,000th pound of produce to the Great Plains Food Bank.
About the Great Plains Food Bank
The Great Plains Food Bank serves as North Dakota’s only food bank. Its partner network includes 215 food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and other charitable feeding programs operating in 99 communities across N.D. and Clay County, Minn. Since 1983, the Great Plains Food Bank and its partners have distributed food for more than 133 million meals to children, seniors, and families in need. The Great Plains Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network.