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Child Nutrition

BackPack Program

BackPack Program

We believe that when a child is fed, they are equipped to learn, grow and imagine a future filled with opportunity.

Childhood hunger has an impact in our community. During the school year, more than 33,000 children across North Dakota qualify for and greatly rely on the federal free and reduced lunch program to meet their daily nutritional needs. But on weekends, many of these children struggle with hunger.

Hunger among children can have lifelong and extremely costly consequences. Hungry children suffer physical, emotional and developmental impairment. They are sick and hospitalized more often. Hungry children don't learn as well at school, which limits their potential and productivity as adults. Adults who experienced hunger as children are often not as well prepared mentally, emotionally, physically, or socially to perform in today's work environment.

Join us as we tackle childhood hunger.

Here is how you can help:
Donate Funds
Currently it costs $5.00 to fill a backpack with milk, juice, snacks and food for three meals. To sponsor a child for an entire year, it costs $190. If you would like to ensure children have what they need to learn and grow, donate here.

Volunteer Your Time
Each week volunteers of all ages are welcomed to assist with hunger relief efforts at the Great Plains Food Bank, 1720 3rd Ave. N in Fargo. If you are interested in volunteering contact our volunteer manager, Jon Simpson, at 701.476.9110 or 

Want to host a BackPack Program?

At the Great Plains Food Bank, food safety and child safety are among our top priorities and we require food safety training for those operating the BackPack Program and background checks for those with frequent contact with students. Programs outside the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community will need a 501c3 sponsor as each will be responsible for funding their own programs. Local schools may place a request to be included in the Backpack Program and will be accepted based on funding and the opportunity to expand.

For more information about starting the BackPack in your school contact:
Jenae Meske - Program Coordinator
(701) 476-9113


© Great Plains Food Bank 2021