With high inflation and high gas prices, many North Dakotans are, unfortunately, having to make tough decisions between food or fuel.

This has led to historically low amounts of food being donated to the Great Plains Food Bank.

Staff report they will have one million fewer pounds of food to distribute, which equates to 800,000 meals. This shortage comes at a time when hunger impacts one in six North Dakotans.

They say the shortfall is due in part to the fact that they’re seeing the lowest amount of food donated since 2018, in which they were serving 30,000 fewer people.

To partially offset the reduction, they are spending $2.2 million to buy food for distribution, the most in their 39 years as an organization.

Despite the shortfall, they are forecasting that they will be able to provide more than 12.4 million pounds of food this year, which equates to more than 10 million meals.

“We will always do what we can to make sure that there’s food available for those who need it. We are continuing to be innovative and creative in finding ways to source and distribute the food. So, we encourage with the help of our local communities to give financially or food products, to help us end hunger together, ” explained Great Plains Food Bank Chief Operating Officer, Kate Molbert.

Great Plains Food Bank’s partner network includes 213 food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and other charitable feeding programs operating in 99 communities across North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota.

Financial donations will directly fund additional food purchasing and can be made here.

Additionally, food donations are needed and can be made at the Great Plains Food Bank or one of our local food pantry partners. A complete list of each partner can be found here.