Community partnerships are the foundation of the Great Plains Food Bank’s (GPFB) work to end hunger across North Dakota. The only food bank in North Dakota, Great Plains Food Bank recovers and distributes food for more than 10 million meals annually through innovative programs aimed at ending childhood, senior and rural hunger as well as through a network of more than 260 partner feeding programs operating in more than 100 communities statewide.
GPFB engaged partners and those most affected by hunger to spearhead the first ever comprehensive study of North Dakota’s charitable response to food security to determine and address the needs of the community. This study was the impetus for a number of breakthroughs in addressing hunger, including a new mobile food delivery system that has already increased access to nutritional perishable foods in rural areas that were not previously served. Another breakthrough is GPFB’s fresh produce program and food recovery efforts, which draw on local food sources and tap resources through the country to meet statewide demand.
Great Plains Food Bank’s community-powered, data-driven approach to address hunger has made a significant impact. As a result of targeted programming, outreach and innovative service delivery, they have increased the number of individuals served from 55,835 to 78,699. Moreover they have improved the sustainability of their efforts. Private contributions almost tripled. Donations from food industry partners skyrocketed from 5.2 million to 13.1 million pounds. Today, the new programs developed through this project not only continue to operate, but are expanding and evolving to meet needs each year. And with its volunteer base expanding to more than 4,800, GPFB remains efficient in its hunger-relief work, providing food for four meals for every charitable dollar received.