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Great Plains Food Bank projects shortfall of 1M pounds of food this fiscal year

Kate Molbert, Chief Operating Officer, Great Plains Food Bank
D. Webster
Kate Molbert, Chief Operating Officer, Great Plains Food Bank

COO Kate Molbert says that translates to roughly 800,000 fewer meals.

With demand at an all-time high, North Dakota’s only food bank projects that it may fall roughly 800,000 meals short of last year’s total.

Kate Molbert is Chief Operating Officer at the Great Plains Food Bank. She says the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by record high inflation is translating to challenges in keeping shelves at the food bank stocked for their clients. She says while the pandemic created leaner supply chains, food prices are 14.3 percent higher than they were a year ago. Molbert says the food bank may see a 1 million pound distribution shortfall, while 1 in 6 North Dakotans are impacted by hunger.

"We partner in some mobile distributions locally, and the number of people attending those local distributions have gone up 60 percent the last few months, as compared to last fall and winter. So we've seen a pretty significant uptick in need in our communities."

Molbert says donations to the food bank are at their lowest level since 2018, when the organization was serving 30,000 fewer people than it is today.

Despite the challenges ahead, Molbert says they’re doing everything they can to serve those in the community who are hungry. The food bank is budgeting $2.2 million to purchase food – which is the largest amount in its 39-year history. She says no one who needs help should be discouraged from receiving it at the food bank – they are forecasting being able to provide 10 million meals over the next year.

Molbert says financial donations can be made on the Great Plains Food Bank website.