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Published November 25 2009

Forum editorial: Fill dome again fills a real need

When all the numbers are in, it looks like this year’s Fill the Dome food drive will have exceeded its ambitious goals by a lot. The young people energizing the effort were shooting for 75 tons of foodstuffs and $75,000 in donations for food programs. Both numbers were approaching 100,000 by day’s end Tuesday.

It’s a truly remarkable effort that started with Fargo schools and since has spread to school districts throughout the region. Participating schools from Perham, Minn., to Kindred, N.D., conducted their individual campaigns and hauled the food to the Fargodome to add to the total. Some 58 schools were part of the drive this year, and for the third year Fill the Dome exceeded its goals.

The big food drive makes a difference in the work of the region’s premiere food assistance organization, The Great Plains Food Bank. Through its extensive network of food pantries and other food distribution points, Great Plains reaches thousands of individuals and families in need. The dome program has become one of the major sources of food for distribution during the year. By one estimate, the food gathered at the dome is enough to meet the food bank demand for 21,000 people through March.

Fill the Dome does more than the good work of providing food to families in need. It’s a giant civics classroom for hundreds of area students. They volunteer their time and energy in a program that generates measurable results. They learn that one of the vital elements of citizenship and community is participation in civic programs. They understand that a good idea can evolve into tangible good works. They develop a sense of service that, for many, will become routine in their adult lives.

Additionally, the student food drive is an example to the larger community. Young people often don’t get enough credit for their volunteerism and community service. Fill the Dome is a high-profile event that showcases the commitment to community service of the region’s students. It’s become one of the marquee service projects in the Red River Valley because students and their schools step up every year.

Congratulations to all who made Fill the Dome 2009 a huge success.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.