The final push for collecting donated items and showing your Dragon heart will be during the Parade and Dragon Fire Endzone Extravaganza, leading up to the Football Game on Saturday, Oct. 6 at SCHEELS Field. Items are be collected for the Great Plains Food Bank and Rape and Abuse Crisis Center.

Read this personal story and how your donations help impact local families:

Providing Happiness – First Person Narrative by a West Fargo Teacher

I am fortunate to be a teacher at a school that utilizes the Great Plains Food Bank BackPack Program. On a recent Friday afternoon I was assisting in a 2nd grade classroom. My job was to help the students work on their math skills. It isn’t unusual for students to fidget and squirm on a Friday afternoon, but this child was so excited I couldn’t help but ask what she was anticipating. I fully expected her to say that someone was coming to visit, or that she was attending a birthday party over the weekend. Imagine my shock when she looked me straight in the eye and asked “Do we get the bags of food today?” I responded that yes, it was Friday, and they would get the bags on their way out of school. “Great!” was her reply as she smiled, started to hum and continued with her math worksheet. Some children are furtive about getting the food and stuffing it in their backpacks; however, she was very clearly excited about getting her food that day. I decided to ask her what made her so happy about getting this bag of food. She told me that she had several siblings and she loved getting the bag of food because she was able to help her family. The meals that were provided were shared among her siblings so that her parents were able to pay rent and keep the car running. She wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed of being a part of the BackPack Program. In fact, it was exactly the opposite—she was excited to be able to do something so grown-up to help provide a basic need for her family.

Every Friday I get to see children, who might otherwise go hungry, be provided with nutritional help over the weekend. Every Monday I see these same children come to school ready to learn because they were able to put food in their stomachs when at one time that wasn’t the case. The Great Plains Food Bank stepped in to fill a need that teachers have seen for a long time. We know that when a child is hungry they aren’t ready to learn on Monday morning, they are just hanging on waiting for lunch. Many of us have prayed for a program like the BackPack Program because we simply didn’t have the means to provide for each student on our own.

At the Great Plains Food Bank they truly do believe that when a child is fed they are equipped to learn, grow and imagine a world filled with opportunity—and by working together we will solve hunger.