FARGO, ND – In the fight against hunger, Gate City Bank gained ground in a BIG way in 2024.
During a January 18 surprise-announcement event at Dakota Medical Foundation, attended by local community leaders and partners, as well as team members, the bank revealed its plans to commit $100,000 to West Fargo Eats. The nonprofit was once a pop-up food pantry, and in 2021 transformed into a permanent hunger relief program in West Fargo, ND – the first of its kind in the community.
This gift is vital in terms of expanding West Fargo Eats’ programs, feeding more neighbors in need and enhancing sustainability for the future of the community. It also bumps Gate City Bank’s financial contributions to West Fargo Eats to more than $220,000 since 2021. It’s a partnership that hits close to home for everyone at the bank, including Amy Durbin, Executive Vice President of Data Strategies & Marketing, who spoke during the January 18 event.
“When individuals and families experience unexpected food insecurity, they’re faced with impossible financial choices,” Durbin said. “Through our support of West Fargo Eats and other food-associated charities throughout our communities, we’re giving families the help they need today for a better tomorrow. No one should have to go hungry, which is why we care about addressing this issue head-on.”
Pastor Joel Baranko of Lutheran Church of the Cross, the organization that founded West Fargo Eats, also spoke during the January 18 event. He not only expressed his appreciation for Gate City Bank’s financial commitment to ending hunger in the community, but lauded the bank for the substantial support it has provided in additional ways, such as by donating unlimited team member volunteer hours to help the cause.
“Gate City Bank truly makes a difference in so many lives around our region, and I’ve learned firsthand that their actions back up their words,” Baranko said. “Whether it’s in the freezing cold, the pouring rain or the blazing sun, on any given day, I’ll see the bank’s president and CEO, as well as other senior leaders and team members, stuffing bags and boxes – all so that people can have food on their tables.”
Gate City Bank’s $100,000 commitment is huge news – but it’s also just an appetizer. During the January 18 event, the bank also kicked off a large-scale food drive involving all of its locations across North Dakota and central Minnesota. This effort will amass countless non-perishable food items leading up to Giving Hearts Day, an initiative through which the bank has made a nearly $2 million impact since 2014.
How it will work: Through various fundraisers, jeans days, community donation bins and other means, Gate City Bank will collect food items at all of its locations running through Giving Hearts Day on February 8, then deliver them to local food-associated nonprofits that impact the communities the bank serves. Community members can donate food toward the effort by visiting any of Gate City Bank’s locations.
But Gate City Bank isn’t stopping there. As part of its annual Giving Hearts Day nomination contest – which allows community members to nominate their favorite Giving Hearts Day charities as many times and as often as they want – the bank put an additional $50,000 on the table, with the winning charity set to be revealed February 8. The nomination period runs through February 1. To nominate, simply visit GateCity.Bank/GivingHearts.
There’s a reason why Gate City Bank is zeroed in on hunger – one in six people experience it in North Dakota alone, with 50% being children and senior citizens. This is according to Great Plains Food Bank, which utilizes a semitrailer donated by Gate City Bank to deliver 12.5 million meals that help 100,000 individuals each year.
Indeed, Gate City Bank’s dedication to providing food security is indicative of a dire need in the communities it lovingly serves. It’s why the bank is part of the West Fargo Eats Food Share Alliance, along with Great Plains Food Bank, Lutheran Church of the Cross and YWCA Cass Clay. Each organization brings unique expertise to the table when it comes to addressing the critical need for food security in our communities.
“Gate City Bank has been a huge partner of ours for a long time, and their generosity gives me so much hope for our communities,” said Melissa Sobolik, CEO of Great Plains Food Bank. “We’re proud to stand alongside the bank in the fight to end hunger together, and this $100,000 gift to West Fargo Eats just helped us take a big step forward.”
In addition to West Fargo Eats and Great Plains Food Bank, Gate City Bank has provided food assistance in countless other ways throughout the years, and is honored to have been named a Hunger Relief Champion for these efforts.
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