Pulse Surveys - GPFB will be sending out short biweekly pulse surveys and we encourage you all to fill it out in order to help us understand the changing landscape of our network during this time. We appreciate the time you put in to these surveys and sharing information.
- Results from 4/20-4/26 Survey
- Results from 4/47-5/3 Survey
- Results from 5/11-5/17 Survey
- Results from 5/25-5/31 Survey
June 24 Call Updates -
- Click HERE for the recording of the May 27th call.
- Click HERE for the recording of the June 10th call.
- 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!
- June 24th was our last biweekly partner COVID-19 update call, but it will not be our last virtual meet up! Later this summer, we will host a virtual discussion on pantry operations, client choice, and more. Stay tuned!
- 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.
- CFAP/Farmers to Families - We are in the process securing new contracts to bring in mixed meat, dairy and produce boxes through the Farm to Families program. As we learn more, we will share it with all of you. A HUGE thank you to all of you that have been driving in to our Farm to Families produce distributions to bring boxes back to your community. We have been thrilled to see families in all corners of the state receive this incredible fresh produce thanks to our partners driving long distances to pick up and bring food back to their communities! We’re going to continue to work our hardest to get this food to as many communities as possible through August. If you have any questions, please reach out to us.
- Our goal is to put more perishables on the order sheet. This is a new process that we are consistently trying to improve. Right now you can find TEFAP apples, oranges, milk and CFAP cheese boxes. Our goal for these being on the order sheet is for folks to order larger quantities (like a pallet). We are working to adjust our delivery schedules to accommodate more perishables on them.
- If you order perishables, and your delivery day isn’t on your pantry day; we encourage you to do an additional ‘perishable’ distribution. Please connect with Anna or Rachel for some guidance on what this could look like. This will help you to reach additional clients and will serve as an entry point for folks who may not have accessed food assistance before.
- CFAP Cheese Boxes – We will consistently receive mixed cheese boxes through August. We encourage you to order enough to give each family you serve a whole box. Additional information, including what's in them found HERE.
Past Updates -
- The USDA extended waivers of the area eligibility requirement for open summer meals sites nationwide through August 21, 2020. The USDA had previously issued 52 separate waivers to states allowing SFSP and SSO sponsors in good standing to operate open summer meals sites in areas that did not qualify as area eligible. Those individual state waivers of the 50 percent free or reduced-price eligibility threshold were set to expire on June 30, 2020. The USDA also extended the on-site monitoring waivers for SFSP, CACFP, and school nutrition sponsors and state agencies through August 31, 2020.
- P-EBT - Households with kids who get free/reduced lunches at school are eligible for P-EBT. They will get an EBT (SNAP/Food Stamps) card with the dollar value of the lunch/breakfast ($5.70/school day). The household can use the benefits anywhere that accepts EBT. Households that already get SNAP will just have this added onto their existing EBT card; those that don’t have SNAP will be contacted by DHS to enroll and get their benefits. Households are still eligible even if the school is providing grab and go lunch and breakfasts; both the grab and go meals and P-EBT can be accessed.
- We received a large donation from Dakota Specialty Mill of 50 pound bags of buckwheat flour. We know flour is a high demand item that is hard to find right now so we encourage you to order this! We have put together resources for buckwheat flour including benefits, how to use it, and recipes!
- With changes in distribution style, it is still important to collect household data to report monthly statistics. CLICK HERE for a template to collect data with drive through distributions.
- Jamie Good from the Department of Ag shared about the 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. For those that did not complete the questions in the last Pulse Survey, 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).
- We are no longer sending out paper statements as mentioned in our annual agreement letter and in weekly emails. You can find unpaid invoices and your balance on the "My Agency" section of PWW, which can be found in the upper, right corner. Directions for navigating PWW can be found in the "Food Bank Announcements" section.
- 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!
Midwest Dairy Opportunities - Midwest Dairy is offering Community Relief Grants to support refrigeration needs of local food pantries. The Grants are only available to dairy farmers who can submit an application for refrigeration to local food pantry. If you are in need of an additional cooler to MOVE DAIRY product, let us know and we can let Midwest Dairy know and they can share your interest with a potential dairy farmer in your area. We were also contacted by Midwest Dairy on the potential of receiving a financial donation to purchase more dairy products directly from a processer to turn around to GPFB partner agencies. In the latest PULSE survey we inquired about many of your dairy needs and capacity to store and use those products quickly. We will be using that data to share with Midwest Dairy as we continue to explore this opportunity.
Client Survey - Feeding America has a survey for clients to help us learn more about the changes they are facing during this time. Please encourage your clients to take the survey! We have created a postcard for our partners to hand out to your clients. Postcard for FA Client Survey
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
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 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 that we need to hold food for a holding period at all.
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!
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.
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)
- June 24 at 4:00 PM CST, 3:00 PM MST - Biweekly COVID Update Partner Call
- July 3 - GPFB Closed
- September 7 - GPFB Closed
- September 23 and 24 - Partner Agency Summit
- 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.
- 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
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
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!