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Opportunities abound for LSSND and Great Plains Food Bank

GPFB to become independent organization in 2016

From left: Mary Weiler, VP LSSND Community Outreach Services; Robert Sanderson, LSSND Chief Executive Officer; Mark Strand, LSSND Board Chair; Steve Sellent, Great Plains Food Bank Director.

November 3, 2014 (Fargo, N.D.) - With the blessing of the Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota (LSSND) Board of Directors, over the next 18 months, the Great Plains Food Bank (GPFB) will emerge as an independent nonprofit organization.

“Change is good if it’s in the best interest of the people we serve,” said Bob Sanderson, CEO of LSSND. “Our agency works hard to cultivate courageous and visionary leadership, and it is with great pride that we recognize the Great Plains Food Bank has developed a creative and strategic plan for alleviating hunger in North Dakota. We can take pride in having nurtured GPFB as a program for more than 30 years as it has developed into a stable and well-supported organization in its own right.”

Over its 31-year history, the Great Plains Food Bank has established itself as a robust statewide organization with a strong commitment to ending hunger through community partnerships; a clear vision of a hunger-free North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota, a diverse and passionate base of financial and volunteer supporters; a partner network of more than 300 charitable feeding programs operating in more than 100 communities; and an array of innovative programs and services that touch the lives of 81,000 individuals each year.

“I believe we (LSSND) have given the Great Plains Food Bank sufficient means to now be on their own,” said Mary Weiler, vice president for Community Outreach Services. “Through the years we have nurtured, listened, protected, prayed and encouraged them. I came to the realization when my children all ‘left the nest’ that leaving can be a rebirth, a birth into a new life and a new way of interacting with the world. My hope is that the food bank staff will remember that by saying goodbye they will be rewarded with a new hello, and I know that moving forward they will be opening new doors and doing new things, not because they are curious, but because they are committed.”

As two independent agencies, both will be better able to focus on impacting the lives of the people they serve.

“The Great Plains Food Bank will always be extremely grateful to Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota for their foresight in founding our program, providing support and encouragement in building our hunger-relief services for more than 30 years, and for giving us this incredible opportunity to become an independent organization,” said Steve Sellent, GPFB program director. “While we have had much success in our work together, as independent organizations we will be positioned to be even more responsive to emerging needs and new opportunities to serve as we focus on our respective missions.”

Leadership from both organizations look forward to focused partnerships around shared target groups of senior citizens and children. “As we move forward, we will continue in our shared ministry to support children, seniors, families, and those living in rural areas across North Dakota,” Sanderson said.

This decision made today, will have lasting impact for North Dakota.

Our Impact This Year

  • Kids Healing Through Trauma Therapy

    500

  • Families in Affordable Homes

    893

  • Kids Made Amends With Youth Court

    200

  • Child Care Providers Improved Through Online Classes

    5,000

© 2016 Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota

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