The Great Plains Food Bank is committed to filling the needs of its clients by providing a nutritious and healthy variety of fresh foods to fulfill a range of dietary and cultural food insecurity needs. We wish to create and sustain food systems that work for the needs of our clients every day.
In order to meet the nutritional needs of those who are unable to access or afford the variety and quantity of foods necessary for a healthful diet, the Great Plains Food Bank has implemented the following measures:
- Set an annual goal to increase the percentage of nutritious food distributed.
- Enhance efforts to increase the nutritional quality of all food streams by:
- Provide partner emergency feeding programs with an annual report on the mix of products they order compared to the nationally recognized MyPlate dietary guidelines, reinforcing a shift towards accessing healthier products through a review of the report during site visits by GPFB staff.
- Provide nutrition education for partner agencies through direct and on-line training, nutrition tips and healthy recipes prepared with food bank products in agency newsletters, links to nutrition resources on the website agency portal and a variety of food safety training opportunities.
- While the GPFB provides a large percentage of the food distributed through charitable feeding programs in North Dakota and Clay County MN, we are only one of the sources of food for those experiencing food insecurity. In order to provide clients with additional opportunities to access nutritious foods to meet their dietary needs we:
- Provide training to food pantries and feeding programs that will assist them in developing local sources of nutritious foods or secure additional resources to purchase products to fill gaps in products that are not available through GPFB;
- Provide screening and application assistance for the SNAP program to provide clients with resources to access additional nutritious products that may not be available through the food bank or our partner agencies;
- Provide brochures for each of the 54 counties served listing additional resources available.
- Increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with other nutritious foods, provided in rural areas identified as “food deserts” where healthy foods are either unavailable or high-priced due to a lack of nearby supermarkets through the mobile food pantry program, perishable food drops, rural delivery program and agency grants for increased produce refrigeration capacity.
Through these and other means, the Great Plains Food Bank is strategically committed to providing food for healthy and balanced meals for our clients who struggle to afford or access nutritious food.