- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A food pantry in North Dakota’s capital city has its lowest grocery inventory in nearly 40 years of feeding the area’s hungry.

Bismarck Emergency Food Pantry volunteer Linda Haider said demand for food is soaring but donations are down.

“We’ve really seen a demand for our services,” Haider told KXMB-TV (https://bit.ly/Z72pgk ). “More people are moving into Bismarck, not having jobs and the demand for food has really increased.”

Led by oil development, North Dakota’s robust economy has resulted in a record population, the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and thousands of more jobs than takers. Still, there are some who are hungry, Haider said.

“I know a lot of people would be devastated if they couldn’t come here,” she said.

July was the pantry’s busiest month ever, Haider said. The pantry has about a third of the inventory that has been on hand in previous years, she said.

Michelle Keplin, who is one of about 30 volunteers at the pantry, said the facility relies solely on donations.

Officials said the pantry has helped almost 2,500 families this year with food and household items.

“I don’t think people realize how much there is a need in Bismarck, and how much we really do give each family,” Haider said.


Information from: KXMB-TV, https://www.kxnet.com

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