'Challenge Grant' drive raises thousands of pounds of food for Minot's pantries

MINOT, N.D. - Minot community leaders celebrated the end of a successful campaign aimed to tap into the generosity of the public to stock the town's food pantries.

The Minot Area Community Foundation says that just over 16,000 pounds of food were donated as part of the second annual 'challenge grant.'

Through the campaign, area organizations would essentially rent the 'Donation Station' trailer and use it to collect food donations from the public.

The donations went to pantries at The Lord's Cupboard, Our Lady of Grace, and the Salvation Army.

“We serve about 100 families every day that we're open, and that means that that same family has not been here that week. So we're talking about 300 families per week that we help. And I think the need is pretty great. And many of those that come here have jobs. This is not intended to provide all they need. It's provided to supplement what they need,” said Gerald Roise, with The Lord's Cupboard.

If an organization managed to reach a thousand pounds, the Minot Area Community Foundation would send $500 to a food pantry of their choice for food.

Zion Lutheran, who gathered the most pounds of donations, could pick a pantry that would receive an additional thousand dollars.

“I think it opens a lot of eyes when you start listening to the statistics, and the amount of families that need a service like this, and the amount of food that we go through in one week, and so our families that were involved really were surprised at the number of families that are served by this pantry, but then if you consider all of the pantries in the Minot area, it is definitely a necessity, said Chris Torgeson, Zion Lutheran Education Director.

In total, 14 organizations participated, and aside from the 16,000 pounds of food, they also raised $4,500 for the pantries.