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Dustin Erhart

Father, son making ends meet with help of food pantry

Dustin Erhart makes his $700 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment last as long as he is able, but typically comes up short most months attempting the feed himself and his 17-year-old son, Gage. The single father has found a needed resource at Ministry on the Margins in Bismarck, a partner agency of the Great Plains Food Bank.

It is difficult for Dustin Erhart to image his situation if it weren’t for Ministry on the Margins in Bismarck, a partner agency of the Great Plains Food Bank.

Dustin is a single dad supporting his 17-year-old son, Gage. While Dustin receives $700 each month through Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the small family still struggles to make it to the end of most months. Needing a small supplement to fill that gap and keep them fed, Ministry on the Margins provides around 20 percent of the food Dustin and Gage need. With each visit to the food pantry, they are able to get enough food to last about a week at a time.

“Even if it is only for a week, it helps a lot,” Dustin said.

Their lives would be much different without the help of food assistance. Without Ministry on the Margins, they would be forced to make difficult choices between using what money they have to pay for food or to pay for other items they need or other bills. Those are decisions Dustin and Gage are glad they don’t have to make.

With the help from Ministry on the Margins, the family is able to make it through each month. It is crucially important as Gage prepares for his future where he plans to join the military after finishing high school.

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