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Hornbacher's campaign raises $65,817 to help the hungry

Employees of Hornbacher's volunteer at the Great Plains Food Bank by filling bags of potatoes for food baskets. Hornbacher's presented the food bank with a check for $65,817 on Wednesday, Oct. 11. Patrick Springer / The Forum

FARGO — Hornbacher's donated $65,817 to the Great Plains Food Bank, a sum that will provide almost 200,000 meals to the hungry throughout North Dakota and in Clay County, Minnesota.

The check, presented on Wednesday, Oct. 11, was the largest in Hornbacher's annual "Check Out Hunger" campaign, which asks shoppers to make a donation at the checkout lanes of its grocery stores.

"Because we're in the food business we think we have a special responsibility to connect with the community and the Great Plains Food Bank to help alleviate hunger in our community," said Matt Leiseth, Hornbacher's president.

Hornbacher's is the largest food contributor to the Great Plains Food Bank, which distributes 11 million meals a year, said Greg Sellent, the food bank's president.

The donated food is deemed no longer saleable, such as bruised apples, but is still fine to eat, Leiseth said. Hornbacher's participates in food bank initiatives, including Daily Bread and Fill the Dome.

Last year, the grocery chain donated more than 1 million pounds of food, enough to feed 1.2 million people. "That's almost enough to feed everyone in North Dakota breakfast and lunch," Leiseth said.

Social agencies referred more than 94,000 people to food bank partner programs in the past year, Sellent said.

"We continue to see the need go up," he said. Sellent attributes the increase to North Dakota's growing population, efforts to expand the reach of food pantry programs, and deepening need among those who are on fixed and low incomes.

Founded in 1983, Great Plains Food Bank distributes food at 331 sites in 112 communities throughout North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota.

Patrick Springer

Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to letters@forumcomm.com

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