One of the most anticipated parts of the holidays is the food. Heaven’s Helpers is a faith based, nonprofit organization that addresses food insecurities in Bismarck year-round. They are run with the support of the community.
“Our mission is to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we serve hungry people in the community on a six-day a week basis,” says Mark Maier, the founder of Heaven’s Helpers.
Recently they’ve started providing showers, laundry, and computers in addition to daily meals. Since all groceries are donated, Heaven’s Helpers has not had to buy groceries since 2009.
“Whenever someone does a food drive, we don’t ask them to; they just do it out of the kindness of their heart. They help us make two soups a day, a couple of sandwiches, and desert,” says Maier.
Anytime Fitness in South Bismarck decided to help give back to the community. At the beginning of November, they began a food drive for Heaven’s Helpers.
“Our members are really great anyways so we just thought before the holidays, to just gather as much as we could, take the work out of it. We’ll take everything for them,” says Chalsie Emil, the general manager of Anytime Fitness in South Bismarck.
The amount of support they’ve received so far was unexpected.
“We have a massive amount of things, I’m super impressed. I think we don’t realize how many people in our community need the extra help,” says Emil.
Heaven’s Helpers Soup Cafe provides the public with two meals a day, six days a week. They welcome everyone to come in, whether it’s to eat or volunteer.
“Obviously if we don’t have good food or any food to cook with, it’d be difficult to stay open six days a week and serve 200 and more people a day,” says Maier.
Maier said they’ve been short on volunteers since the pandemic and encourages people to sign up for the holidays.
If you’re interested in volunteering, visit their website here.