Press Conference Thursday: Food Access and The CARES Act

BISMARCK, ND — On Thursday at 10 a.m., members of an Ad Hoc Committee on Food Access in North Dakota will hold a virtual press conference to propose allocating $53 million in CARES Act funding to address an ongoing need made worse by the covid-19 pandemic. As reported in multiple media outlets, Great Plains Food Bank has estimated a 44% increase in need network-wide.

The North Dakota Emergency Commission and Legislative Budget Section are expected to vote on spending a large potion of the state’s $1.25 billion federal CARES Act funding this month. The Ad Hoc group’s proposal outlines ideas and initiatives to help assure that all citizens have access to food while also building up our infrastructure and supply chains across the state to support our family farmers and economy.

The virtual press conference follows a memo proposing a three-pronged approach to Assuring Access to Food sent by Sen. Kathy Hogan to Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, and Department of Human Services Executive Director Chris Jones.

Assuring Access to Food

  • Enhance and strengthen the SNAP program for people with low incomes in North Dakota
  • Address food supply/distribution disruptions that are impacting many communities
  • Strengthen emergency food networks throughout North Dakota


Sen. Kathy Hogan represents District 21 in Fargo. She worked in human services for more than 40 years, including with a range of food security programs. She is a former director of Cass County Social Services.

Karen K. Ehrens, RD, LRD is a food, nutrition, and health consultant and advocate who works with The Creating a Hunger Free ND Coalition.

Jacqueline Lormé lives in the Madison neighborhood in North Fargo and has personally experienced the food crisis and sees how it affects her own neighborhood. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Rep. Ruth Buffalo represents District 27 in Fargo, is an enrolled member of the M.H.A. Nation, and is originally from Mandaree. She is a public health professional and educator.

To Attend

The virtual press conference is Thursday June 11 at 10 a.m. CT. Contact Alex Rohr, [email protected] for any log-in questions.