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Helmut Schmidt, Published November 15 2011

Fill the Dome effort under way

MOORHEAD – What’s Andrew Nelson’s secret for getting people to give to this year’s Fill the Dome project?

“Perkiness!” said the smiling, energetic Park Christian School senior. “A good sales pitch and first impression.”

And it doesn’t hurt to have a good cause, either.

Nelson was among dozens of high school volunteers working at Hornbacher’s stores in Fargo-Moorhead to convince shoppers to buy $10 bags of food to help fill the Fargodome floor with food for the hungry.

The goal of this fifth-annual drive is to collect enough food and cash to provide 500,000 meals through the Great Plains Food Bank, said Sarah Russell, a Fargo North High School senior and one of the organizers of the event.

Last year’s drive netted enough cash and food for 450,000 meals, she said.

Monday is when the donations will be brought in to fill the dome, she said.

“We have the countdown on the website. We’re just very, very excited,” Russell said.

Great Plains Food Bank supplies food banks, soup kitchens and emergency shelters in Cass and Clay counties and food programs throughout North Dakota.

Every dollar collected provides four meals, and every 1.38 pounds of food is equivalent to a meal, said Marcia Paulson, director of marketing and development for the Great Plains Food Bank.

Food donations can be dropped off at any of the three main Sanford medical branches in Fargo, Gate City Bank locations, and Laney’s Inc., Russell said. Or, they can be given to students to be collected at schools, she said.

Monetary donations can be made online at www.fillthedome.org.

Checks can also be sent to: Impact Fill the Dome Fund, 4152 30th Ave. S., Suite 102, Fargo, ND 58104.

The $10 bags of food will be sold at all Hornbacher’s through Sunday.

Food can be also be taken to the Fargodome on Monday and Tuesday.

Fill the Dome has collected more than 300 tons of food and more than $225,000 since 2007.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583