The 2013 North Dakota State Fair initiated two new programs to aid the Great Plains Food Bank in creating a hunger free North Dakota. For the first time in its history, the North Dakota State Fair hosted a canned food drive during the Fair. On Monday, July 22, State Fair staff asked all patrons to help in their contribution to the Great Plains Food Bank by donating a non-perishable food item at the admission gates. Each participant of the program received a coupon for $1 off gate admission.
Throughout the day, the North Dakota State Fair collected 2,022 pounds of food which equals 1685 meals. To put that into perspective, that is enough meals to feed a family of four for 5.25 months. “Aside from generating food for our organization, the State Fair staff did an excellent job providing awareness of the Great Plains Food Bank as a state-wide organization,” states Cari Drees, Community Events & Communications Coordinator at Great Plains Food Bank.
To help kick-off this campaign and inspire Fair patrons to participate, the North Dakota State Fair, with the help of BNSF Railway and Nash Finch, brought in a unique display featuring a combine, tractor and field constructed entirely out of canned food items. The cans of food from the display were also donated to the Great Plains Food Bank at the conclusion of the Fair. The donation of the cans equaled 13,646 pounds of food donated to the Great Plains Food Bank. The total poundage equals 11,380 meals, which is enough to feed three families of four for up to ten months.
The Great Plains Food Bank then distributed the food throughout local food pantries in North Dakota. “The entire staff was very excited about hosting a food drive this year and with the help of some fantastic sponsors and volunteers, it went off without a hitch,” said Jennifer Hubrig, NDSF Marketing Director. “We definitely look forward to hosting another food drive in the future.”