BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — According to United Way, 1 in 6 North Dakotans are currently seeking food assistance, and hundreds are homeless. However, there are plenty of ways to help these individuals. One of these is by donating money and food to those in need — and at Cash Wise Foods locations throughout the country, the United Way is doing exactly that as part of their “96 Hours of Caring” event.
“96 Hours of Caring has been going on for more than a decade,” explains Missouri Slope Areawide United Way Executive Director Jena Gullo. “We’ve been involved since the inception. We’re really grateful for places that are raising donations and also collecting food for so many programs in our community.”
Both Cash Wise locations in Bismarck — as well as other drop-off locations like Lincoln Repair’s Mandan and Lincoln branches — are collecting donations and non-perishable food items for local food pantries in an attempt to get food into the hands of those who need it. This also serves to help United Way’s Center of Opportunity.
“The drive is able to collect food and donations for important programs in our community,” states Gullo. “It perfectly correlates with our United Way campaign for the hungry and homeless. When people buy and drop off food at Cash Wise, they’re able to support kids who would not have access to it otherwise.”
In addition to this brief donation period, MSA’s United Way operates the only 24-hour shelter in the area year-round– which currently houses 141 men, women, and children. At this shelter, the organization states that they are providing people with the dignity and hope they deserve.
“We care about you,” Gullo states, “and we’re here to help you. And every single person in our shelter wants more and better and different.”
However, the 96 hours of caring do not necessarily need to stop when the campaign is over. Those interested in volunteering can contact the United Way at any time to learn how to get involved in their communities.
The next United Way event — the “Mile in My Shoes” walk — will take place on November 15, and feature a stroll from the Center for Opportunity to the Bismarck Dream Center and back. For more information, visit this page on the Missouri Slope United Way’s website.