Great Plains Food Bank helped nearly 140,000 individuals in 2022 despite food donations plummeting to 2012 levels

While need remains high, inflation causing historically low amounts of donated food 
FARGO N.D. – The Great Plains Food Bank provided food assistance to 138,439 individuals across North Dakota and Clay County, Minn., in 2022, which was the second-highest total in the near 40-year history of the organization and the highest total of any year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to a historically low amount of food currently being donated to the Great Plains Food Bank, the total amount of food distributed to those in need fell by 3.3 million pounds to its lowest level total since 2012.

Specifically, the number of those needing food assistance increased by 14 percent last year while the amount of food distributed by the Great Plains Food Bank fell from 15.2 million pounds in 2021 to 11.9 million pounds in 2022. This was largely due to a 25 percent drop in the total amount of food donations received from 2021 to last year, which equated to 3.3 million fewer pounds of food available to distribute.

“Reviewing our statistics from last year confirmed two things to be true that we were expecting: The need remains high while food donations remain low,” Great Plains Food Bank CEO Melissa Sobolik said. “While I am thrilled we were able to meet the high demand for food assistance and to find the means to feed more than 138,000 individuals last year, the reality that both our organization and our clients are still facing challenges from inflation and high food prices is very much a concern. Now is the time when the public can truly help in our work.”

To help offset the loss of food donations, the Great Plains Food Bank purchased more than 1.9 million pounds of food in 2022, which was an increase of 25 percent from the year before.

Anticipating these type of trends, in July of 2022 the Great Plains Food Bank announced it was projecting a 1 million pound distribution shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year.

Currently, hunger impacts one in six individuals living in the state of North Dakota including one in four children. 

Year Individuals Pounds distributed Pounds donated Pounds purchased

Giving Hearts Day
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“Reviewing our statistics from last year confirmed two things to be true that we were expecting: The need remains high while food donations remain low. Now is the time when the public can truly help in our work."

Great Plains Food Bank CEO Melissa Sobolik Tweet
About the Great Plains Food Bank

Opening in March of 2023, the Great Plains Food Bank is currently celebrating its 40th year as an organization. Serving as North Dakota’s only food bank, the Great Plains Food Bank partners with nearly 200 food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and other charitable feeding programs operating in 100 communities across N.D. and Clay County, Minn. Through its array of innovative direct service programs and partner network, the Great Plains Food Bank has distributed more than 200 million meals to children, seniors, and families in need since 1983. 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 in 2018 by the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

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attn. Development Associate
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Phone: 701-476-9120


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