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Food Helper Organizations in North Dakota

Learn more about how our coalition partners are helping to ensure access to food for North Dakotans of all ages.

Great Plains Food Bank

97,170 people in North Dakota turn to food pantries and emergency meal programs supported by the Great Plains Food Bank to meet their nutrition needs.

  • 34% report choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine/medical care
  • 69% of clients couldn’t afford to eat balanced meals
  • 44% report choosing between paying for food and paying for utilities
  • 34% report making choices between paying for food and paying for transportation
  • 35% report choosing between paying for food and paying for housing
  • 75% of clients reported living with one chronic disease, and of those clients, 84% reported living with more than one chronic disease

Want to learn more? See Great Plains Food Bank


North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, School Meals, Child & Adult Care Program and Food Distribution Programs

USDA Child Nutrition Programs help fight hunger and obesity by reimbursing organizations such as schools, child care centers and homes, and after-school programs and summertime programs for providing healthy meals to children. USDA Food Distribution Programs strengthen out nutrition safety net by providing food and nutrition assistance to school children and families; and support American agriculture by distributing high quality, 100% American-grown USDA Foods.

Childcare Feeding Programs

  • Childcare centers operated foodservice programs at 129 sites in 2016-17, with 1.5 million lunches served annually
  • 947 home childcare providers served 1.4 million lunches in 2016-17

School Nutrition Programs (2016-17)

  • 85,237 North Dakota children from Kindergarten thru grade 12 eat school lunches each day, on average
  • 24,584 children, on average, eat school breakfasts each day
  • 30.5 percent of the lunches are served to children whose families are eligible for free lunches, and 6.5 percent of families were eligible for reduced-price lunches

Summer Food Service Program

  • 43 sponsors offer the Summer Foodservice Program across the state (2017)

Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program

  • 39,828 students in 180 schools participated in the program in 2016-17

FDPIR, The Food Distributions Program on Indian Reservations

  • 2016-17:  5,694 people participate monthly, on average

CSFP, Commodity Supplemental Food Program 

  • For those 60 and older who live at 130% of poverty or below
  • 2016-7:  1,852 participants/month, on average

Want to learn more? See


North Dakota SNAP Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income North Dakotans meet their nutritional needs; it was formerly known as “food stamps.”  Benefits are issued on EBT cards and can only be used to buy food products at grocers, farmers markets and other USDA-approved vendors.

In 2018, 54,000 North Dakotans participated in the SNAP program (monthly average). The average benefit per month is $1.32 per person.        

  • 71% of households have children.
  • About 32% of households contain an elderly person or a person with disabilities.
  • About 38% of all households receiving benefits have earned income.
  • Every dollar that households redeem under SNAP expands the economy by about $1.70.
  • Farmers Markets operating in (eleven) 11 cities across the state accept SNAP benefits.
  • A SNAP application can be mailed or picked up.  Applications are available online at , or by contacting a local county social service office and requesting one. 

Want to learn more? See North Dakota SNAP Program


NDSU Extension Service, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is a nutrition education program for low resource families with young children who learn about healthy food choices, food safety and stretching the food dollar through a series of lessons. FNP and EFNEP educators meet participants in settings including county Social Services offices, WIC clinics, Head Start, food pantries, schools, senior meal sites and public health clinics.

For every $1.00 spent on EFNEP, the estimated benefit-cost ratio was $8.82 worth of benefits

For program year 2017, North Dakota EFNEP had 159 adult graduates and 1,336 youth participants. EFNEP graduates reported improved nutrition, food safety, and food resource management behaviors:

  • 91% improved at least one nutrition practice
  • 80% improved at least one food resource management practice
  • 50% of youth participants improved at least one food safety practice

Want to learn more? See


Senior Meals Programs, North Dakota Department of Human Services and Partners Across the State

  • In 2017, 539,000 meals were served at congregate dining sites such as senior centers.
  • In 2017, 532,900 meals were delivered to clients in their homes (“Meals on Wheels”).

Want to learn more? See ND Department of Human Services, Aging Services Division


North Dakota WIC Program

WIC helps families combat food insecurity and nutrition-related health problems, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. During the critical period of a child’s development, from before birth up to age 5, WIC provides nutritious food, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and referrals to other health and social services.

  • In 2017, 50% of infants born in North Dakota participated in WIC, with a total of 22,000 women, infants and children served.
  • 80% of ND WIC families have one or more adults working
  • $9 million was spent to purchase food at 160 locations in North Dakota; WIC is good business
  • 78% of  participating moms said WIC’s nutrition education  helped their families eat more fruits and veggies
  • 72% of WIC moms choose to breastfeed

Want to learn more? See