FARGO, N.D. – Sanford Health continues its commitment to the fight to end hunger with a $25,000 donation to the Great Plains Food Bank at a difficult time for hungry children, seniors and families across North Dakota and western Minnesota.

The gift comes at a time when the hunger-relief organization is seeing a 44 percent increase in need for food assistance sought at its partner network of food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens and a 79 percent increase through its Mobile Food Pantry due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These are challenging times for so many and gifts like this from Sanford Health is exactly what is needed to help ensure we all make it through this together,” Great Plains Food Bank President Melissa Sobolik said. “We thank Sanford for this incredible gift that will make a tremendous impact in the lives of so many without enough food to eat each day. We are grateful for these commitments from valuable members of our communities.”

Beyond this incredible financial donation, Sanford Health employees volunteer their time at the Great Plains Food Bank repack center assisting the organization in preparing surplus food for distribution statewide.

“Sanford and the Great Plains Food Bank both support health and well-being across the entire state to improve the lives of those who live and work here,” said Jayne Gust, director of community relations for Sanford’s Fargo region. “Our health system and our employees are dedicated to the work of health and healing. And, we know proper nutrition goes a long way in sustaining health and overall success at home, work and school. We’re honored to be involved and we hope others in our communities will join us in playing a role to help end hunger.”

The gift is integral as the Great Plains Food Bank continues to fill a crucial need for food assistance as a result of COVID-19. The only food bank in the state of North Dakota, the Great Plains Food Bank is mounting a multi-million dollar COVID-19 response over the next 12 months to meet the increased demand.

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