Working to provide equitable foods for all of our neighbors in need, the Great Plains Food Bank began piloting cultural food pop-ups in fall of 2022, with the support from the City of Fargo. These pop-up food distributions include foods that align with dietary needs of many of our New American neighbors.
Meeting the Need
North Dakota is home to many New Americans who are in the process of resettling. Our neighbors who have refugee, immigrant or temporary citizen status attended the pop-ups, and received roughly 20 pounds of culturally relevant food; items they are familiar with and know how to incorporate into nutritious meals.
Prior to launching, the Great Plains Food Bank worked with communities from seven countries (such as Afghanistan, Liberia and Somalia) to learn their preferred foods and items they could make the most use of. Those are the foods procured for the cultural food pop-ups.
Setting the Table
At the pop-up, our New American neighbors living with food insecurity received fresh produce like okra and eggplant, as well as chickpeas and other staples not typically carried by local food pantries.
Many of the foods provided were purchased from local, culturally-specific markets or vendors to ensure freshness and to support the local cultural food retailers and store owners.
Removing Barriers to Access
Translated materials, such as how-to videos and food labels, helped to remove language barriers between our New American neighbors and Great Plains Food Bank resources.
The Great Plains Food Bank is continuing to serve our New American population by partnering with organizations to create food pantries focused on providing culturally relevant food.
By working with international markets and resettlement organizations, the Great Plains Food Bank can source a variety of fresh, culturally relevant foods to provide New American families a warm welcome!
Volunteers share a smile while setting up the Great Plains Food Bank Fargo cultural food pop-up.