May 15, 2014 – The Great Plains Food Bank, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, has named three statewide partners as 2013 Hunger Relief Champions. Those recognized are CHS Inc., Hope Lutheran Church (Fargo), and Nash Finch Company/Sun Mart Foods because of their longstanding partnerships with the Great Plains Food Bank and their extraordinary contributions and organization-wide commitment to end hunger.
“Their incredible support that has been demonstrated in so many ways over the years, heartfelt compassion for our many neighbors struggling with hunger, and belief in the work that we do embodies the spirit of this award,” said Steve Sellent, program director for the Great Plains Food Bank. “As we move closer to our vision of hunger-free communities, we are honored to have these organizations helping lead the way.”
CHS, the nation’s foremost cooperative, owned by farmers, ranchers and co-ops values volunteerism and community stewardship programs. Since 2011, CHS and its Country Operations locations across North Dakota have conducted CHS Harvest for Hunger, a food and funds drive campaign. CHS employees, customers and partners collectively raised $282,173 for the Great Plains Food Bank, demonstrating tremendous support for others in need. Beyond this annual campaign, CHS employees volunteer at emergency feeding programs in their communities across the state.
Hope Lutheran Church (Fargo) stepped forward as partners with the Great Plains Food Bank 15 years ago with a gift to help secure a new warehouse facility, which is the current location of the Food Bank’s statewide operation. Most recently, the men’s and women’s ministry teams have helped fully launch the weekend BackPack Program for 130 children who struggle with hunger at two schools, Lewis and Clark and McKinley Elementary. Taking it a step further, they continue to invite other congregations to join them in their ministry to end childhood hunger. Members volunteer every month to assist with repacking bulk food items, assemble backpacks and mobile food pantry boxes, and sort food drive items.
Nash Finch Company – Sun Mart Foods has been partnering with the Great Plains Food Bank since its inception 31 years ago, by donating an estimated five million pounds of surplus shelf-stable and perishable food items for use by food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelter programs. Beyond food donations, the Nash Finch Company and NFC Foundation have contributed more than $100,000, raised through employee matching gift campaigns, in-store customer campaign promotions, attendance at special events and an NFC Foundation grant. Sun Mart Foods store managers and associates volunteer their time repacking donated bulk food items for statewide distribution.
CHS, Hope Lutheran Church and Nash Finch Company/Sun Mart Foods are commended for their creativity, passion and service, and invitations to employees, members and other like-minded community entities to join them in their work to alleviate hunger.
Past Hunger Relief Champions include: Bremer Bank, The Pampered Chef, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Fill the Dome, Hornbacher’s, West Acres Development, Congressman Earl Pomeroy, Senator Byron Dorgan, Jenni Monson, Walmart, Microsoft, North Dakota Community Action Partnership, Marti Sunderlin, National Association of Letter Carriers, Fargo Rotary Club and Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.