State’s only food bank seeing substantial growth in supplying meals to children in need
FARGO, N.D. – With more than two months remaining until 2019 comes to a close, the Great Plains Food Bank this year has added a total of 22 different feeding sites across the state of North Dakota specifically designed to feed hungry kids. Through expansion of its Youth Summer Meals Program, BackPack Program and School Pantry Program, the Great Plains Food Bank has grown its number of feeding sites by nearly two dozen this year and is reaching more children than ever.
“Children will always be a top priority for us here,” Great Plains Food Bank Program Director Nancy Carriveau said. “Kids don’t chose their circumstances and thanks to incredible commitments from our donors, staff and volunteers, we were proud to be able to expand these needed programs this year. We wish to make every accommodation that we can to be certain as many children are being fed as possible and we hope to only do more in the future.”
Specifically, the largest growth for the organization has come through the Youth Summer Meals Program and School Pantry Program.
The Youth Summer Meals Program added an additional nine feeding sites in 2019 and supplied nearly 7,000 meals at a total of 13 sites over the summer months. The program, which offers a free lunch to children in need during the summer months when the school lunch program is not available, provided just over 3,300 meals at four locations in 2018.
One of the newest programs of the Great Plains Food Bank, the School Pantry Program, which places a food pantry directly inside schools offering children and their families a reliable food source, has added a total 10 new school pantry locations in 2019. That brings the total to 22 pantries inside schools throughout the state.
Additionally, the Great Plains Food Bank BackPack Program, which supplies a backpack full of food to kids on the weekend, has added three new sites so far in 2019 and the program is now being operated at 43 locations in Fargo-Moorhead and West Fargo and an additional 53 towns across North Dakota and western Minnesota.
Each year, the Great Plains Food Bank provides food assistance to more than 36,000 children, which equates to 37 percent of the more than 97,000 individuals served.
The Great Plains Food Bank Youth Summer Meals Program is supported in part by our generous hunger-fighting champions at Choice Bank while the School Pantry Program is supported in part by our generous hunger-fighting champions at ONEOK. To learn more about each childhood hunger program operated by the Great Plains Food Bank, click HERE.
About the Great Plains Food Bank
Now it its 36th year, the Great Plains Food Bank serves as North Dakota’s only food bank. Its partner network includes 213 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, through its partners and programs, have distributed more than 170 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 and was named the Not-for-Profit of the Year for 2018 by the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.