FARGO Hornbacher's, a Fargo-based supermarket chain and its customers broke records with its $99, 773 donation to the Great Plains Food Bank to help address the increased demand for services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The large gift is part of Hornbacher’s 26th annual Check Out Hunger 30-day campaign where customers made donations at the checkout lines at all nine Hornbacher’s locations throughout Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead. The almost $100,000 donation exceeded last year's amount when $76,000 was donated.

Jared Slinde, communications manager for Great Plains Food Bank said this donation is really coming at a crucial time as demand for foodstuffs only grows in the community as many people have experienced economic hardships due to COVID-19.

The food bank has seen as much as a 79 percent increase in demand during parts of the pandemic.

"You know, such generosity here in Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo. Cashiers ask people to donate and they really gave in a big big way," said Slinde.

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Great Plains Food Bank staff said this monetary donation will translate to almost 300,000 meals.

Since the start of the campaign 26 years ago, local shoppers have donated more than $600,000.