Great Plains Food Bank names 2022 Hunger Relief Champion Award winners

Kathy Schneider, David Green, Melissa Anderson, Essentia Health have gone above and beyond in the fight to end hunger
FARGO, N.D. – The Great Plains Food Bank has announced Kathy Schneider (Great Plains Food Bank Board of Directors), David Green (volunteer), Melissa Anderson (N.D. Department of Public Instruction) and Essentia Health (community health partner) as its 2022 Hunger Relief Champion Award winners. Each individual and organization have made an exceptional commitment to battling food insecurity inside their communities and have been longstanding champions in the fight to end hunger across North Dakota and Clay County, Minn.

Winners are nominated and selected based on their dedication to the Great Plains Food Bank mission, sharing their abilities and voice to end hunger while demonstrating the values of passion, service and innovation.

“It is always an exciting time for us whenever we can celebrate our amazing partners by naming our Hunger Relief Champion Award winners,” Great Plains Food Bank CEO Melissa Sobolik said. “And we are grateful to have four outstanding winners again this year. We congratulate Kathy Schneider, David Green, Melissa Anderson and Essentia Health for winning this important award and thank them for all they do to help in our work.”

Kathy Schneider
For more than 15 years, Kathy Schneider has been a staple for hunger-relief in and around the Bismarck-Mandan community. A veteran of a range of Great Plains Food Bank cabinets and committees, Kathy currently serves as vice-chair of the organization’s board of directors. Previously, Kathy was a vocal member of the Feed the Future cabinet that raised $5.1 million in a capital campaign that, among other things, led to the opening of the regional service center in Bismarck. Kathy also takes time to give back and is a regular volunteer for the Great Plains Food Bank at events such as MSA United Way Day of Caring and the Bismarck-Mandan Packathon. Additionally, along with her husband Mike, the couple have provided more than 113,000 meals to help feed hungry children, seniors and families across North Dakota and Clay County, Minn., through their financial support.

David Green
A familiar face around the Great Plains Food Bank Fargo warehouse, David Green has been among the organization’s most dedicated volunteers for more than five years. David’s support is invaluable, performing many volunteer duties including helping as retail rescue driver picking up food and bringing it back to the warehouse three days a week. Additionally, David makes regular deliveries to local schools for the Great Plains Food Bank BackPack Program, while also consistently being seen inside the volunteer repack center repacking meals or stuffing letters for special mail projects along with his wife, Dorothy. The Greens have also been consistent financial donors to the Great Plains Food Bank since 2006. During his time as a volunteer, David has logged more than 1,500 hours helping in different capacities.

Melissa Anderson
As assistant director of food distribution programs with the N.D. Department of Public Instruction, Melissa Anderson has become a true hunger advocate working consistently with members of the Great Plains Food Bank to better access grant funding and helping to enhance its programming. Melissa is a voice for the Great Plains Food Bank holding sessions with staff at least monthly to offer guidance and assistance to keep its work moving forward. She is an invaluable resource for identifying federal grant opportunities and assisting with grant application processes and in finding the right project to fit the need. Additionally, Melissa consistently works diligently to assist the Great Plains Food Bank to enhance its childhood hunger programs to ensure more children are fed and offering feedback to help the organization secure useful products for its network of partner food pantries.

Essentia Health
Essentia Health remains at the forefront of the Great Plains Food Bank’s work connecting hunger and health. Essentia Health was a founding member of the Cass Clay Hunger Coalition when it was launched following the Great Plains Food Bank Hunger in North Dakota 2018 study, and they remain active as both a member and on the advisory board for the coalition. As a member of the coalition, their input in strategic planning and overall collective impact strategies surrounding hunger and health has proved invaluable in reducing food insecurity. Additionally, Essentia Health has remained a key partner through a number of Great Plains Food Bank health and hunger activities including SNAP Rx, which refers patients who screen positively for food insecurity to the Great Plains Food Bank SNAP Outreach team and other resources, and Resourceful, a patient referral platform to help ensure patient’s needs are being met.

About the Hunger Relief Champions award
Launched in 2008, the Hunger Relief Champions award recognizes individuals, businesses, churches or organizations for their extraordinary contributions and commitment to end hunger. These honorees are acknowledged for their longtime partnerships with the Great Plains Food Bank, their creativity and organization-wide commitment, for being innovators and solution focused, and for extending an invitation to employees, customers, and other like-minded community entities to join them in their work to alleviate hunger. A complete list of past winners can be found HERE.

About the Great Plains Food Bank
Opening in March of 1983, 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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