The need for food is common in every household and as the pandemic takes its toll on people’s jobs, the community is looking to food pantries now more than ever. We visited with a few local organizations to see how the pandemic has reshaped food distribution in the Capital City.
Several organizations in the Bismarck-Mandan area are steadily feeding the population such as Adopt-A-Block and Bismarck Dream Center, The Bismarck Emergency Food Pantry, and The Great Plains Food Bank. And even though they are all separate entities, they are working together for the greater good.
“Many of our food pantries across the state are finding a new normal,” said Rachel Monge, Regional Services Manager at Great Plains Food Bank.
That means finding new methods of distribution. Like the Adopt-A-Block food truck with the Dream Center, who only distributed food a couple of times a week at first. But now because of the pandemic, the truck has six locations total throughout the week with the help of partnerships.
“If one of us is getting too much product coming in, we’ll talk with one of the other agencies and see if we can’t spread that out a little bit,” said Jim Barnhardt, Founder of Dream Center Bismarck.
Pat Jergenson with the Bismarck Emergency Food Pantry says these partnerships are what’s helping the community stick together.
“We are seeing it start to pick up a little bit. It’s been kinda slow actually. Last week we did see an uptick in the amount of people that are coming and need our services,” said Pat Jergenson, co-chair at Bismarck Emergency Food Pantry.
Even though COVD-19 has reshaped the way distribution is running, what stays the same is the love to serve the community.
Barnhardt says he regularly collaborates with other pantries in town as well as grocery stores in order to reach as many people as possible. He says even though people have received their checks for unemployment or crisis care, the need for food in every household is evident.