Ricky Belgarde

SNAP SPOTLIGHT ON RICKY BELGARDE

Ricky Belgarde grew up watching his parents skip meals so their four children could eat. There were even times he skipped meals himself when not enough food was available.

The struggles have shaped Ricky’s thoughts on food assistance today.

Growing up in Minot, N.D., Ricky and his family have spent the majority of their lives on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. Like Ricky, his parents are disabled and the program has offered them a consistent safety net during difficult times.

“There were times I cried for my family because my dad and mom tried so hard,” Ricky said. “Not having any money for their kids to have food… If it wasn’t for food stamps, we could have starved easily. There were times when my family couldn’t even celebrate birthdays because we didn’t have anything.”

Now 27 years old and living on his own in Fargo, N.D., unfortunately the difficult times surrounding hunger are still a concern for Ricky and for reasons outside of his control.

A number of years ago, when working at McDonald’s, he went to sit down. He fell from his chair and woke up in a coma three weeks later. He was diagnosed with epilepsy that now prevents him from both driving and working. He receives SNAP benefits along with Social Security that are his primary means to get him to the end of each month.

Understanding his difficult situation and all the SNAP program has meant to he and his family, Ricky is passionate about stopping lawmakers from making any cuts to the program.

“People could die physically without food,” he said. “There are families that are disabled that are low income and there are a lot of people that are low income that rely on you to do your job. We put you in an office to be on our side. You are just going to cut that when you probably have never gone a day without worrying about it (food). There are days my family has gone worrying about it. I don’t want my kids to grow up having to worry about it.”

For Ricky and his family, the SNAP benefits they have received are more than just a benefit. They are a way of life

About the Great Plains Food Bank
Opening in March of 1983, the Great Plains Food Bank is currently celebrating its 40th year as an organization. Serving as North Dakota’s only food bank, the Great Plains Food Bank partners with nearly 200 food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and other charitable feeding programs operating in 100 communities across N.D. and Clay County, Minn. Through its array of innovative direct service programs and partner network, the Great Plains Food Bank has distributed more than 200 million meals to children, seniors, and families in need since 1983. The Great Plains Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, and was named the Not-for-Profit of the Year in 2018 by the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

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PRIVACY POLICY

This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for Great Plains Food Bank regarding websites located at www.greatplainsfoodbank.org and give.greatplainsfoodbank.org. Great Plains Food Bank reserves the right, at any time and without notice, to change this Privacy Policy simply by posting such changes on our site. Any such change will be effective immediately upon posting. Great Plains Food Bank (“us”, “we”, “our”). Website visitor, guest, and/or donor (“you”, “user”).

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If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, need to opt-out of future communications, or wish to exercise any other privacy right you may have by law, please contact us in any of the ways shown below.

Great Plains Food Bank
attn. Development Associate
1720 3rd Ave N
Fargo, ND 58102

Phone: 701-476-9120

Email: info@greatplainsfoodbank.org

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