Farm and Ranch Food Pantry

From the Open Files of:

Eastern North Dakota Resource Center , 701-232-3180

Contributed by:

Christ the King Lutheran Church, Ellendale, ND

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Farm and Ranch Food Pantry - Description
Letter to Community People
Press Release
Food Delivery Note

Farm and Ranch Food Pantry - [ TOP ]

Just about the time several women from Community Assembly of God church decided to start a community food pantry, word came from Lutheran Rural Response that funds were available to increase existing or start new food pantries around North Dakota.  Our county food pantry (Dickey County) was located in Oakes, 30 miles one way, which sometimes presented difficulty for low-income folks.  We applied and had a visit from Bonnie T. of Lutheran Rural Response.  Bonnie's fervent desire was that food get to rural families who needed it and who would be unlikely to ask for it.  The Assembly food pantry still exists and operates as food pantries usually do:  once per month, not every month, folks pick up their food on certain days, etc.  The other "branch" of food pantry in Ellendale attempts to get food to the rural folks who need it, whatever that may take.

Attached are copies of a letter to community people, a press release for the local newspaper, a note that goes into each delivery of food.  So far, two area pastors, the school counselor, the County Extension agent, and a local provider of "Homemaker" services have been the source of referrals.  The food is delivered.  In addition to farming and ranching folks, we have primarily served elderly, retired (usually widows) who receive little or no pension, meager, Social Security checks, and often are faced with the choice of buying the medicine they need or food to eat.  The local optometrist donates storage space; shelving from the now-defunct hospital is used; a local man donated a small freezer because he read in the paper that the food pantry needed one.

The main problem is trying to find more people to help deliver the food.  This cannot be done by everyone, however.  Confidentiality is of utmost importance with rural folks.

The best person to contact with further questions is Bonnie T. at Lutheran Rural Response.  Joyce at Great Plains Food Bank is also a great asset.  I would also be glad to help; call me, Ellen A. at 701-349-4521.

Christ the King Lutheran Church
713 Third Avenue North
P.O. Box 88
Ellendale, ND  58436

[ TOP ]

October 18, 1999 - [ TOP ]

Great Plains Food Bank
1104 NP Avenue
P.O. Box 389
Fargo, ND  58107

Dear Joyce,

The Ellendale-Community Food Pantry has begun operating as a program of the Ellendale Ministerial Association of which Christ the King is a member.  First Assembly of God and Seventh Day Adventist churches have also offered the use of their 501(3) status for this project.

Since I am the secretary-treasurer of the Ministerial Association, all billings should be sent to me at P.O. Box 88, Ellendale 58436.

We look forward to being a distribution point for the farm families of the area who are dealing with the rural crisis and will do everything in our power to see that the food gets delivered to their door if they will not come to us.

In Christ,

Rev. Ellen Jarvi Arthur
Cc:  Ministerial members

[ TOP ]

January 2000

To:          Dickey Co. Social Services
               School Counselor
                Kedish House
                Dickey Co. Extension Office
                Avera-United Clinic
                SouthEast Medical Center
                Deb Elhard, Counselor

This is to inform you of the Ellendale Community Food Pantry which is now in operation for Ellendale and all surrounding communities and rural areas.

Through a grant from Lutheran Rural Response (through Lutheran Social Services) we are able to access food from the Great Plains Food Bank.  This food is for all hungry people, but we have been asked to target farm and ranch families during this time of rural economic crisis.  Farm and ranch families, couples, individuals may use this supply of food as often during a month as they have a need.  Once a week is not too much.  They do not need to make the contact themselves.

If you know - or suspect - that someone is in need of additional food, please contact one of Ellendale's clergy.  Father Gary Luiten is the president of Ministerial.  I am the secretary-treasurer.  We will arrange to deliver food - anonymously, if necessary.

Please assist us in getting this food to all who need it.  Thank you.

Rev. Ellen Arthur

[ TOP ]

To:          Dickey County Leader - [ TOP ]

                     For immediate release

Ellendale Community Food Pantry

                  A recent grant to the Ellendale Food Panty by Lutheran Rural Response targets food from the Great Plains Food Bank to farm and ranch people.  The Rural Response initiative grew from the disaster assistance put into operation because of the flooding in Grand Forks several years ago.  While working with victims of flooding, Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota found that there were many, if not more, suffering from the rural economic crisis.  As the rural economy continued with low commodity prices and decreases in operating loans and government subsidies, LRR went into high gear with grants to increase local food pantries and to start new ones where needed.

                  While help is available to all hungry people through the food pantry at First Assembly of God, the Food Pantry emphasizes farm and rural families.  Anyone may contact a member of the Ellendale Ministerial Association or social services.  All inquiries are confidential.

[ TOP ]

January 2000

                  This food has been given to the Ellendale Food Pantry from the Lutheran Rural Response (Lutheran Social Services) to help farm and rural families during this time of a very bad rural economy.  Even if you do not need food, perhaps some cash will be freed up for others purposes because of this food.

                  If there are some items in here that you do no like or cannot eat, please try to share them with someone else - family, neighbors.

                  Your name is not being recorded anywhere.  Only numbers of people served are reported to the Great Plains Food Bank.

May God bless you.


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