Cavalier County FSA participates in national food drive campaign

The 2016 Feds Feed Families food drive has officially kicked off!

FSA food drive

Posted on 7/2/16

By Melissa Anderson

The Cavalier County Farm Service Agency (FSA) is participating in this nationwide campaign to help feed area families in the community.

“This is actually our first year participating in the event. I’m the team leader for a national wellness campaign that our office is participating in called “Blazing Our Way to Rio”, “ Mikan Lovcik, with the Cavalier County FSA, said.

As Lovcik was putting together the FSA’s Cavalier County team, she stumbled across the Feds Feed Families campaign and thought it looked like a great program for the FSA program to participate in.

“The staff here at the office immediately gave it 100 percent and brought in donations the next day,” Lovcik said.

“We are hoping that farmers and members of the community will stop out to say ‘hello’and add to our collection,” Lovcik added.

Feds Feed Families was designed to help food banks and pantries stay stocked during summer months when they traditionally see a decrease in donations and an increase in need. Food drives in the summer have been a rare benefit to the Langdon Food Pantry.

“It was a very nice surprise to get the telephone call from the FSA to talk about items needed for the Food Pantry,” Kathy Downs with Cavalier County Social Services said, “Since the Pantry is currently low on a lot of items, this food drive is very important.”

The Cavalier County community has been very generous and has worked hard to make sure the Pantry is well stocked.  The usage by the families who need the Pantry’s items varies from day to day.

“Our hope is to be able to continue to meet the needs of the people in Cavalier County who need this type of help from time to time,” Downs stated.

The items needed for the Pantry don’t necessarily change with seasons. Downs explained that the Food Pantry tries to keep shelf-stable food items stocked all year around. The Food Pantry also tries to have meat products such as small roasts, hamburger, hotdogs, and things like frozen vegetables on hand as well.  Boxed meals such as hamburger helper, taco kits, and pizza kits are a plus as they allow families to make a quick meal.

“Anything that would make a quick meal is always something we try to have on hand to share with families that struggle to provide regular, nutritious meals for their household,” Downs explained.

The Langdon Food Pantry also offers vouchers that are available for products such as dairy, fresh produce, eggs, cheese etc. that need to be refrigerated.

“Because we don’t have refrigerator space at the Pantry, the vouchers can be used for those items,” Downs said, “We have also been fortunate to be the recipients of fresh produce.”

One of the things that the Food Pantry board asks is that when people donate to the Food Pantry, they check the dates of the items they are donating. Every item that is received at the Food Pantry is checked for the best buy date or the expiration date. If the packaging looks as though it has been damaged and has been compromised, the enclosed item it will get thrown out as well.

The food bank is particularly in need of personal hygiene items. People cannot purchase things such as shampoo, toothpaste, paper towels and napkins with food stamps making these items available at the food bank is very helpful to those in need.

“While these items are highly sought after, any donations will be accepted with gratitude,” Lovcik said.

The FSA office is located just east of D&B Motors and is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.. There is a table right next to the entrance for all donations. The FSA office will be collecting items until August 31st, 2016.

“Let’s show the rest of the nation that infamous North Dakotan generosity and that we grow the best people on the prairie,” Lovcik said.