July & August Updates -
- September is Hunger Action Month! With all of the hard work everyone has been putting in lately, this is a month to celebrate the work you do all year round and increase awareness of hunger. Use the Hunger Action Month calendar HERE to take action each day to fight hunger in your community. Follow the Great Plains Food Bank on Facebook for updates and share your pictures with us!
- Soon we will be updating our weekly email communication to a platform called Constant Contact. When this change happens, there will be a general email that goes out weekly directing you to the PARC for all updates and to find your order time on the order and delivery calendar. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you put your ordering dates in your planner, phone, calendar, etc. so your timeframe isn’t missed since the email will not specifically state when the order time is!
- Aug. 20, 2020 ~ For immediate release ~ Grants available for charitable food organizations, small grocers
- BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) is offering grants to help charitable food organizations and small grocers make necessary investments in tools to extend the shelf life of perishable foods.
- “The state Emergency Commission has approved $2 million in funding from the coronavirus relief bill for grants to help these organizations extend the shelf life of perishable foods in order to provide their clients with continued, uninterrupted access to foods such as fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy products,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Any charitable food organization or small grocer is encouraged to apply.”
- Charitable food organizations include any organization that provides food and/or services, including local food pantries, soup kitchens, senior citizen centers, food distribution centers and hubs, churches, donation centers and more. Small grocers include any North Dakota grocer located in a community of 750 or less. Eligible costs include items purchased between March 15 and Dec. 15, 2020, such as refrigeration units, freezer units, coolers, vacuum packers, dehydrators and delivery costs related to the purchase of the equipment. Goehring said applications and instructions may be found on NDDA’s website at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/cares-act-north-dakota-charitable-food-organization-grants. All work must be completed by Dec. 15, 2020.
- Feeding America has decided to close the COVID Client Impact Survey on August 31st. Thank you to those who handed out the postcards to clients to help gather important information on a nationwide level. Any remaining postcards or signage about the survey can be removed on September 1st. The data from that survey can be found HERE.
- Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 as we move into fall, we will be postponing the Partner Agency Summit previously scheduled for September 23 and 24. Stay tuned for a new date and details on a virtual meet up!
- A number of hand sanitizers are being recalled for containing Methanol instead of Ethanol. The list of recalled sanitizers and updates can be found HERE.
Social Security Update - Despite challenges government and businesses face at this time, we want people to know we remain ready and able to help them by phone with most Social Security matters. Your clients can speak with a representative by calling their local Social Security office or our National Number. We also provide local office phone numbers conveniently online with our Social Security Office Locator. Attached is a flyer/poster that you can customize with the local office number. Although our offices are not providing service for walk-in visitors, we may be able to schedule an appointment for limited, critical issues if we cannot help someone by phone and if they cannot get the information they need or conduct their business online. Please encourage your clients to call or take advantage of our secure and convenient online services to: Apply for Retirement, Disability, and Medicare benefits, Check the status of an application or appeal, Request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas), Print a benefit verification letter, and more.
Past Updates -
What does the future look like for food pantries and feeding sites? We know there are a lot of questions on what it will mean to move forward.
- How do we bring back practices while also building on the new ways we have found to serve our communities?
- How can we maintain choice models while staying safe? Client choice is the practice of allowing client's to select the food that works best for them and their families. This practice helps to end hunger by not only getting clients food they need, but also getting them the RIGHT food. Share with your regional service manager how you have implemented choice in your new way of operating!
- Stay tuned for another virtual meeting!
What to expect in the coming months - Through our continued conversations with Feeding America and USDA we are learning more about what the future of the impact COVID will have on the economy as well as what our charitable feeding network will look like.
- While many of our partners have actually seen some dramatic decreases in clients over the last few months, we are being told to expect clientele numbers to increase in August/September when some of the additional benefits end. While we don’t want folks to panic, we do want to prepare for potential increases in clients in the fall.
- With the anticipated increase in clients, a decrease in our food streams at the end of December is predicted. Right now we have Trade Mitigation (extra product through TEFAP) scheduled through end of December, and we have been told it will not be extend. Additionally the extra TEFAP dollars through COVID legislation will also end by December. In January, we could experience a sharp decline of donations – both produce and shelf stable. We are working closely with legislatures to request more funding for TEFAP. We along with the Feeding America network of food banks are working to put mindfulness into what our purchasing budget looks like, how we maintain our food streams and acquire funding to do this while trying to have a minimal impact on our partners.
- We are going to put together a document that we will put up that talks about the benefits NDs are currently receiving, timelines for them ending, etc. for you all to be able to use as a tool to show volunteers, your board, funders.
North Dakota Hunger Free Garden project - By participating, your pantry will be pinned on the Hunger Free Garden map and you will be mailed documents, including the "We accept produce donations" flyer. Please report the weights of produce donations you receive in the Hunger Free Garden row in the statistics entry page and we will send those to Jamie. This is only for our North Dakota partners. Additional information can be found on their website. If you are intersted in participating, please send your responses to the questions below to Jamie at email@example.com so you can be included in the project!
- Agency Name:
- Agency Representative:
- Our organization is interested in receiving and offering fresh produce at distributions throughout the harvest season. (Y/N)
- Does your organization have a refrigerator or cooler to store temperature sensitive produce? (Y/N)
- Please list the specific fruits and vegetables that clients request most or those that you don't receive enough of through donations.
- Please list any specific fruits and vegetables that are more difficult to distribute to clients either because clients aren't as interested in them or because they are harder to keep fresh until your next distribution.
- Please list the best days/times that growers could drop off produce.
- Describe any special instructions for growers who are dropping off produce (ie, certain door to enter, who to ask for, etc).
- GPFB is partnering with our friends at the U.S. Census Bureau to help make sure everyone gets counted! Click HERE to access a brochure to put in food boxes, send with meals to-go or to share with the clients you are serving. The brochure has a QR code that will hopefully help simplify how to get to the census. "North Dakota is looking to everyone to count themselves to help the state with money for it's food programs, roads and infrastructure, schools, health care and so much more." If you would like brochures mailed to your agency, email Gabi Proffitt at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the following info:
- Address to mail
- How many brochures you need
- And when the brochures are slotted to be handed out
North Dakota SMART RESTART Protocols - From ndresponse.gov: We encourage North Dakotans to embrace this ND Smart Restart plan as a roadmap to a better, safer and healthier tomorrow for employers, employees and customers alike. This applies not only to those businesses affected by executive orders, but to all businesses as we enter this new normal. Find more information HERE and download a list of standards for all industries HERE.
WE ARE LOOKING FOR CLIENTS STORIES - We want to show the impact of those in need. The national PBS affiliate reached out to GPFB to represent ND as part of a national COVID-19 story they are putting together. They are looking for clients who have been impacted by COVID-19 who are willing to share their story. The client would share their story via skype (or some video conferencing) with PBS. If you have a client who may be interested, please email Jared at email@example.com for more details. This is an incredible opportunity to lift up the important work that’s being done in ND. CLICK HERE for a flyer to give to clients!
WIC is open to working and non-working families, including those who are recently unemployed. Participants in programs like Medicaid, TANF or SNAP are automatically income eligible. Families may qualify for WIC by meeting the income guidelines for the household (for example, a family of four, can earn up to $47,638 a year, or $3,970 per month and qualify). Individuals who are pregnant, have a new baby or children under age 5 might also be eligible for WIC.” https://ndresponse.gov/news/wic-open-business
SNAP - If you are looking for more ways to help people access food during this difficult time, connect them to SNAP! SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program, is the nation’s largest federal nutritional assistance program. It assists single people and families with little or no income to buy food. Our SNAP Outreach Coordinators will help them through the application process. Many people who have not accessed food assistance before are coming to pantry’s for help and might not be aware of where to go for additional assistance. Please consider adding the flyer attached below to the boxes you are prepacking or handing it out to those coming to your sites! Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Flyer
Retail Rescue - The GPFB is continuing all Retail Food Rescue pickups at this time. We encourage those of you that do food rescue to do the same as you are able. Please use caution and best practices as advised by CDC and health department on sanitizing/washing hands, using gloves, and maintaining safe distances. Agencies that pick up at retailers on behalf of the GPFB, please keep us updating on changes you are seeing at the stores. If you are unable to do pickups, please let your retail partner know as soon as possible, and let us know as well and we can see if another partner in your community is able to pick up.
GPFB Updates -
- GPFB will continue to provide general order and delivery schedules with our feeding network. GPFB will also continue regularly scheduled Mobile Food Pantries with proactive guidelines in place to protect the health and well- being of staff, volunteers and clients.
- GPFB is asking all volunteers in the warehouse and on Mobile Food Pantries to wear masks. Agencies that pick up orders from the warehouse are also asked to wear masks and we also encourage partners who are receiving orders to wear masks.
- GPFB is limiting volunteer groups to 10 people or less both in the warehouse and out in the field on Mobile Food Pantries.
- GPFB is not allowing additional orders outside of your order time. With the uncertainty of the virus, we are being cautious to ensure we maintain product for all partners should there be disruptions in the supply chains. We have purchased additional food that is available on the order guide at no cost.
- Per Feeding America, we are accepting food donations as we normally do. Feeding America has not placed any restrictions on food donations or said that we need to hold food for a holding period. We encourage you to wear masks and gloves while handling donations and wash your hands when you are finished.
- ND TEFAP – we have obtained a signature waiver for North Dakota TEFAP. During the pandemic situation, you do not need to collect signatures from clients.
- MN TEFAP - income guidelines have changed to 300% poverty and there are new documents to post at your site. Visit Hunger Solutions website for more information and resources.
Partner Updates and Suggestions -
- Please take some time to take care of yourselves and your volunteers. It is likely that the effects you will feel on your services will last for months. Remember, you cannot help others if you aren't healthy!
- Consider having two or more “sets” of volunteers for your operations. If someone gets sick within Group A, then (after a lot of sanitizing) Group B volunteers can step in allowing you to keep your doors open. These two groups should not interact with each other at all. If your current volunteers aren’t able to continue helping, try reaching out to local businesses as many are paying employees to volunteer right now, or putting a call out on Facebook, newspaper, or radio.
- Consider changing your distribution model! You could try pre-packed boxes, appointment based systems, delivery services, or drive through distributions. All of these options will decrease large groups and contact with others! Call you're regional service manager if you want to talk through the options!
- There is lots of food available, use it! We have a lot of TEFAP available, so think about ways to order and distribute more food. Help the individuals and families you serve prepare to be isolated by giving out extra supplies now so they have to go out less often for supplies.
- With the new CDC guidelines, we are encouraging the use of cloth masks for your staff and volunteers. Put a call our to your community for someone to make you cloth masks! The cloth face coverings recommended by the CDC are NOT surgical masks or N-95 respirators, which are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
- If you change your hours, post the change on your social media profiles, put posters around town and on your pantry door, update your voicemail message, and let your Regional Service Manager know.
- Use local media outlets and social media to let your community know what you are doing in response to COVID!
Resources: Use the trusted sources below for information and guidance.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- North Dakota Department of Health (NDDH): https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus
- Minnesota Department of Health (MDH): https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
Nancy Carriveau - (701) 476-9126 firstname.lastname@example.org (Program Director)
Anna Johnson – (701) 361-1004 email@example.com (Eastern N.D.)
Rachel Monge – (701) 390-2513 firstname.lastname@example.org (Western N.D.)
- May 29 - September 4 - GPFB Summer Hours (closed at 12:00 Fridays)
- August 14 - GPFB Closed
- September 7 - GPFB Closed
- September 23 and 24 - Partner Agency Summit - POSTPONED
- November 26 & 27 - GPFB Closed
- December 24 & 25 - GPFB Closed
- 2020 ORDER AND DELIVERY CALENDAR - Delivery dates reflect the week the deliveries will START, it does not mean you are getting your delivery on Sunday. We know that many of you are typically used to getting your delivery on the same date, but we want to let you know that as we grow and bring on new partners, that may affect the typical day you are delivered to as we will have to make changes to current routes.
- Not sure who to contact at the Food Bank with a question? Click HERE for a contact list!
- Click HERE to download GPFB Holiday Schedule.
- Milk Crates – if you have received TEFAP milk in crates they will need to be returned to the Great Plains Food Bank. Please return with your next delivery or per other arrangements made with your Regional Services Manager.
- Place order
- Second or Incorrect Orders: email or call John Stone, Inventory Manager at email@example.com / 701-476-9124. We ask that you do NOT place a second order through PWW and that it is in by the end of your order time frame. Please note the product number and quantity of items needed or missed when contacting about incorrect orders.
- Cass/Clay Partners who PICK UP – the time and date you select when placing your order is when you will be scheduled for pick up. At your scheduled date and time, please come into the volunteer entrance of the warehouse and ring the doorbell. Someone will come and assist you.
- Cass/Clay Partners who get DELIVERY – please email me or Kevin Hanson (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your requested delivery date and time. We CANNOT schedule deliveries through PWW. Kevin will follow up to confirm that we have your delivery scheduled.
- Enter statistics
- NEW for 2020! Voucher Reporting - To better capture the great work our partners are doing community by community, we are asking you to report on voucher programs in partnership with local grocery stores. Currently these innovative partnerships to connect families with fresh and perishable food is not being captured, and we feel it is important information in sharing the story of how together we are ending hunger. When reporting your monthly statistics, there is a line at the very bottom for reporting the dollar amount given in vouchers that month. We do not need information about who your partnership is with or what product the vouchers are for with this reporting, though we would love to hear about it to share with our network. Interested in learning more about voucher programs community partners have established with their local grocery store? Contact your Regional Service Manager to learn more!
- Enter Retail Food Rescue receipts
- Preferred weekly
- Receipts should be entered by the last work day of the month
- Access invoices and statements
- Under My Docs Tab
- As of February 2020, we have gone paperless! Statements will no longer be mailed out monthly.
- Balances and unpaid invoices can be found in the My Agency tab in the upper right corner of PWW. then click on Open AR.
- Click HERE for PWW directions.
Recalled Item Log
- CLICK HERE TO VIEW
- View recalls and sign up to receive email updates through the USDA HERE.
- FDA hand sanitizer recall list and updates HERE
Partner Agency Resources
- "Get My Payment" online tool
- Economic impact payment online registration tool
- COVID19 Partner Agency Network media FAQ
- COVID-19 Impact Survey (Feeding America)
- How To Host a Facebook Fundraiser
- SNAP Flyer
- Families First Bill Summary
- CARES Act Bill Summary
- Partner Agency Manual
- How to Guide for Applying for 501c3 Status
- Food keeper brochure
- Fridge storage poster
Partner Agency Retail Rescue
- Retail Rescue Manual
- Retail Rescue Receipt Template
- Retail Rescue Q & A Video
- Secondary Distribution Record
- How to Calibrate Thermometers
- Thermometer Calibration Record
Hunger Solutions Minnesota partners with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Minnesota Department of Human Services-Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), food banks and food pantries to administer Minnesota’s TEFAP program.
- Recipe Ideas for Meal Kits - Farmer's Market Salad, Lemon and Herb Bean Salad, How to Prepare Dry Beans
Recipes & Product Information
- Buckwheat Flour Information
- Buckwheat Biscuits
- Buckwheat Banana Bread
- Buckwheat Muffins
- Buckwheat Pancakes
- Buckwheat Pizza Crust
CLICK HERE for a complete list of upcoming MOBILE FOOD PANTRY locations - we welcome partners to come volunteer, pick up excess product, or do outreach!