WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 11, 2010, 11:26 AM

Oakes woman organizes a 25,000 pound donation to the Great Plains Food Bank

Oakes, ND (WDAY TV) - An Oakes woman found a way to feed thousands of people nearly for free. With all of the farming in North Dakota she found there's no shortage of food, just a shortage of people willing to get the food to the hungry.

Margie Roney may have just as well struck gold for a North Dakota food bank.

"Sometimes God taps you on the shoulders, well this time he really gave me the boot and said you're going to do something."

The idea came when Roney was picking onions in this field behind me; they were left behind from a major grower in the area. After collecting about 1100 pounds herself, Roney noticed she had hardly put a dent in what was left in the field.

"Anybody can come and pick because it's just going to lie there and rot and it's such a terrible waste."

Roney wouldn't have it. She called the high school and churches, seeking teenagers to help her pick up and bag the food in the fields. The end result was 25 thousand pounds of potatoes, beans, and onions. All of it going to the Great Plains Food Bank.

"I would have never thought of it personally, but I think it's really awesome to be able to help so many people with such little work from us."

The food bank had to send out a semi to pick up the 20 pallets worth of vegetables. Watching the heavy bags hauled away left Roney with a light heart.

"I hope everybody feels as good about it as I do. I just think these kids have been awesome. All the credit should go to them. I just made a few phone calls and organized it."

To think all of that food would go to waste.

The project took the students only a couple of hours. Roney says wait for next years result when she has time to plan. With students in school Roney needed help moving the bags onto pallets today. And who could say no to her?

This group of 7 guys works in a welding shop just down the road from Roney. They took an hour off and volunteered to load up the vegetables. Roney says she received an immediate answer when she called to ask for help.

“No problem, no problem at all. I mean I kind of knew what was going on and it's no trouble at all. We just live down the road a quarter mile and it's easy enough so.”

Roney made sure they all ate lunch before going back to work.