The nonprofit team at Hope Center in Devil’s Lake, ND believes one thing:

It is their job to nourish and equip people in order to nurture hope and promote dignity and respect in the name of Christ.

With the help of supportive community members and partnerships with other organizations, they meet needs and impact hunger in the Lakes Region.

Founded in 2014, with help from  a mix of churches, businesses and families, the pantry provides food to roughly 250-300 households per month, serving about 600-800 people. The Center generally distributes 150,000-200,000 pounds of food to the community.

More than just a food pantry

While distributing food to those in need is Hope Center’s basic purpose, what makes it unique is the sense of community that is built by those working and partnering with the Center.

Like other food pantries, food comes into Hope Center from food banks and is also supplied to the pantry from over 100 different farmers, students, and home gardeners. Even those in need of food are willing to give up portions of home-grown produce to support their fellow neighbors in need. This partnership is not something new either.

A community of support

Hope Center’s strong network of partnerships with local growers allows the pantry to provide items other than typical nonperishable foods, such as boxes of macaroni and canned fruit. Because of community support, the Center is able to distribute fresh produce as well as things like whole oats and dried fruits.

Building hope and dignity

Through the ‘client-choice model’ those in need are able to make their own choices when it comes to the food they take home.

Individuals usually leave with 30-80 pounds of food, and they select 10-50 pounds of that. The ‘client-choice’ model helps re-instill hope and dignity as pantry-users are trusted to choose food options for their families.

It’s a sign that the Hope Center believes in those they serve which is something the pantry feels its users need to hear..

Partnerships and the ‘client-choice’ model are just a few ways that Hope Center interacts with the surrounding community and the individuals who use the shelter.

Resources for great good

The Center also hosts different classes to teach the community about different food related topics. The local Ag Extension provides food demonstrations on ways to use a variety of foods. The Hope Center also has the goal to begin gardening classes this summer for children. They want to further interact with the community while instilling a sense of independence in young people.

Purpose to impact

Hope Center is living out its purpose in many ways. Whether it be through interacting with the community and the pantry’s users or through educational classes, the pantry strives to leave everyone their organization interacts with in a better state of life and more equipped to handle challenges that may come their way.

Contact Hope Center for more information about what they do or for volunteering opportunities,  or visit their Facebook page .

Hope Center would also like to recognize Wal-Mart, Leevers, and the Great Plains Food Bank for their support with donations as well as the schools and churches in the area that provide volunteers. They would also like to thank individuals who donated to them throughout the year and on Giving Hearts Day. Funds from Giving Hearts Day are used towards a general operational fund, but Giving Hearts Day 2019 may bring something new as Hope Center looks towards new projects.

Stay tuned for another nonprofit story next week, and remember to live with purpose!


Derek Hatzenbuhler

Author Derek Hatzenbuhler

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