Great Plains Food Bank hosts Bismarck-Mandan 'Packathon'

Jun 6, 2018

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Seventeen Bismarck-Mandan area companies brought 120 employees to the Burleigh County Extension Services building Tuesday.

They were there for the first Great Plains Food Bank Bismarck-Mandan “Packathon.” The volunteers were there to pack 1800 boxes with meals that will be given to hungry senior citizens in Bismarck, Mandan and Minot.

"There's a huge need," said Marcia Paulson of Great Plains. "We are seeing the challenges around senior hunger in our state continue to rise."

Paulson said last year, 12 percent of the people served by the Great Plains Food Bank and its partner network were seniors.

"Often times, this is a group of people who don't ask," Paulson said. "There's this 'Prairie Pride' that gets in the way sometimes."

Paulson said this is a program that gets food right into their hands.

"Once they're all packed, a senior drives up with their caregiver," Paulson said. "We put the food right in the trunk of their car, and off they go."

Jennifer Hulen was one of 8 volunteers from Basin Electric Power Cooperative.

"We are proud to do some teamwork together, and get out of the office on a nice day, and pack some bags for those who need it on our community," Hulen said. "It seems like the need is getting greater all the time. So when we can step up and help out, we want to."