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Those in need can get free food in Bismarck



Bismarck, North Dakota — Many families are struggling to make ends meet due to growing costs for gas, utilities, and basic housing.

We might even say the same about our groceries.

Food shouldn’t be on the list of stressful things, according to a local guy who is also the founder of the Bismarck Dream Center.

He claims he wants to help because of this.

“Food is such a basic need. You know, we all have to eat,” said Jim Barnhardt.

Jim Barnhardt founded and currently oversees the Bismarck Dream Center out of pure love and a desire to assist others.

Two significant events hosted by the Center provide a regular stream of free meals to those in need in our neighborhood.

One program will deliver the food to you as well: Food distribution through Adopt-a-Block.

“Mobile grocery distribution, that originally started almost 4 years ago. We go out into neighborhoods that were selected in conjunction with Bismarck public schools, Mandan public schools, great plains, food bank, selecting areas of greatest need,” says Barnhardt.

Most people struggle with transportation, and with gas prices on the rise, paying for gas to go buy food isn’t always the best option for lower-income households.

He claims that this mobile meal alternative serves a variety of locales.

Yet, if you manage to reach the Dream Center, you can also get assistance there thanks to the food pantry.

The pantry is open six days a week, and according to Barnhardt, Mondays have been their busiest days so far this year.

“They get a variety of food products – anything from canned goods to dairy to fresh produce to pastas, to last night it was leftover valentines, candy, chocolates, some bakery products, and then finally meat and milk,” said Barnhardt.

He explains that in addition to providing meals, the Dream Center also connects people and organizations with opportunities for financial and social support.

Tax preparation, dental and medical assistance, as well as job services, are a few examples.

Barnhardt calculates that the Dream Center has helped between 700 and 800 people in need every week so far this year.

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