Even small gifts change lives

Pay It Forward

Bell Bank Employees Help Fight Hunger

Some Bell Bank employees spent time packing food for those in need at Great Plains Food Bank in Fargo.

“I was surprised to learn about the food bank’s crucial need for diapers and personal care products. We hear ‘food bank’ and think of canned goods, peanut butter, pasta, etc. But the person using a food pantry, shelter or the senior meal system often has to choose between eating OR paying for medication, transportation, childcare, diapers or personal care products. I’ve been fortunate in my life to never have to make these choices. Knowing that something as simple as a diaper drive can help our community so much is inspiring and motivating.” – Laura Bucholz, marketing administrative assistant


Great Plains Food Bank

The Need

Great Plains Food Bank serves 215 partner agencies across North Dakota and Clay County, Minn. Those agencies include soup kitchens, shelters, food pantries, after-school programs, senior meal sites and other non-profit organizations that serve and distribute food to people in need. One in 9 people struggle with hunger throughout North Dakota and western Minnesota. Last year alone, the network served more than 94,400 people; 36 percent were children and 11 percent were seniors.

The Impact

The Great Plains Food Bank only has 35 employees, so it relies on the more than 5,500 volunteers a year who provide nearly 20,000 hours of service to the organization.

During the Great Plains Food Bank Packathon to fight hunger, 35 Bell employees packed more than 2,000 pounds of food in one hour, which will provide 1,963 meals to families in need. Bell also donated $900 to cover the cost of distributing the food.

And earlier this year, Bell’s marketing team of 15, which has employees in Fargo and Minneapolis, packed 5,300 pounds of food (enough for more than 4,200 meals) in 3 hours.

“It was eye-opening to see the warehouse of donations! Hearing about the companies that regularly send their excess perishable goods and slightly damaged products to the food bank made me feel proud of our community and glad to shop at those stores for my family,” Laura remarks. “Volunteering with my co-workers was fun – although we worked really hard, the time passed quickly. As I filled boxes, I often thought of who the recipient might be and what products they’d be especially happy to receive.”

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