About Us



To provide emergency and supplemental food
to the people in need in Nebraska and western Iowa.


To eliminate hunger in our community.


In everything we do,
we serve with respect, integrity and urgency.


Our History

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Food Bank for the Heartland is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that distributes food to 535 food pantries, schools, emergency shelters and other nonprofit partners. We are the largest food bank in Nebraska and Iowa, serving 93 counties in the two-state region.

Fighting hunger is an ongoing, collaborative effort. We work with individuals, organizations, food manufacturers and distributors, grocery stores, the USDA and Feeding America to procure food. The Food Bank also purchases food to supplement donations. For every dollar we receive, we can provide three meals.

Food Bank for the Heartland operates its own programs that serve vulnerable populations directly. They include Kids Cafe, BackPack, Mobile Pantry, SNAP and Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen. As the number of hungry children, families and seniors increases, these programs expand to meet the growing need.

We moved to our current 76,000-square-foot facility in 2011. During FY 2017, we distributed 22 million meals to our nonprofit partners that have touched the lives of people in the community. We are grateful to the individuals, organizations and companies that support our vision of eradicating hunger in our community by donating time, money and food.

2015 Form 990
2017 Audit


A need for a food bank in Omaha
Read more


The first year of operation
Read more


The Food Bank’s client base grows rapidly
Read more


Chuck Raffensperger is named the executive director
Read more


Don Schinzel is named the third executive director
Read more


ConAgra Foods Foundation
Read more


Upgrades to a larger building
Read more


The first Kids Cafe site opens
Read more


The BackPack program launches
Read more


The Food Bank welcomes Susan E. Ogborn as president and CEO
Read more


New name and logo
Read more


Food Bank for the Heartland relocates
Read more


Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen program
Read more


Ruth Scott Volunteer Center
Read more


15.8 million pounds of food
Read more

Who are we

Staff directory
Board of Directors
President’s message

Ericka Smrcka

Susan E. Ogborn
President & CEO


Alexandra Goswami
Director of Finance & Accounting


Dave Love

Dave Love
Director of Distribution Center


La Ronda Birch
Director of Human Resources

Ericka Smrcka

Ericka Smrcka
Director of Network & Client Services


Brian Barks

Brian Barks
Director of Philanthropy & Communications

Anna Adams
SNAP Intake Specialist
Mayra Anaya
SNAP Outreach Specialist
Emily Barber
Capacity-Building Coordinator
AmeriCorps VISTA Member
Melissa Barfield
Network Relations Specialist
Stephani Bayle
Brand Manager
Kim Boham 
Iowa Food Assistant Intake Specialist
Megan Burton
Network Compliance Coordinator
Spencer Cohorst
Volunteer Coordinator
Sarah Comer
Assistant Director of Network Education and Compliance
Jenny Devries
Iowa Food Assistant Intake Specialist
Chelsea Ensor
Network Relations Compliance Manager

Lea Franck
Manager of Network Expansion
Angela Grote
Communications Manager
Mike Gudenrath
Food Sourcing Manager
Michelle Guebara
SNAP Intake Specialist
Kerry Heaton 
Iowa Food Assistance Manager
Shelley Mann
Assistant Director of SNAP
Melaney McCroy
SNAP Direct Service Team Lead
Jason Moucka
Manager of Network Relations
Allison Moy-Borgen
Network Compliance Coordinator
Joani Mullin
Community Engagement Officer
Jason Murphy
Accounting Specialist

Sallie Myers
Food Sourcing Specialist
Natalie Nelson
SNAP Direct Service Manager
Elida Padolina
Network Relations Specialist
Maureen Pauly-Hubbard
Capacity-Building Coordinator
AmeriCorps VISTA Member
Vallary Ross
Capacity-Building Coordinator
AmeriCorps VISTA Member
Ann Rourke
Philanthropy Officer
Michelle Sause
Assistant Director of Network Relations
Margaret Schill
Food Sourcing Specialist
Tim Smiley
Warehouse & Transportation Manager
Annissa Zynda
Capacity-Building Coordinator
AmeriCorps VISTA Member

Tara Stingley, Chairman 
Cline Williams
Mary Balluff, Chair-elect
Community Volunteer
Sally Christensen, Secretary
First National Bank
Nate Christ, Treasurer
Access Bank
Susan E. Ogborn, President
Food Bank for the Heartland
Jeff Austin
Community Volunteer
Roger Deal
Sequoia Wealth Partners, Inc.

Zac Fredrickson
Holland Basham Architects
Rick Hansen
Conagra Brands
Craig Kinnison
Farm Credit Services of America
Denise McCauley
Tom McLaughlin
One World Health Center
Todd Moeller
Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture

Susan Nelson
Community Volunteer
Melissa Taylor
Mutual of Omaha
David Ulferts
UNL Extension
Chad Werner
First Data Corporation
Jim Winterscheid
Travel & Transport
Stephen Gehring, Legal Counsel
Cline Williams

Vitriol, anger, and blame
Ride on the back of fear
Giving birth to anxiety, hatred and
Vitriol, anger and blame

As this letter is written, spring is poking its face out over the slush and taking a chance on 2018. Spring is also offering us a chance for a new start, maybe much more generously than New Year’s did when all we really wanted to do was eat mac and cheese and huddle under our covers.


Spring is offering us a chance to find a new response to fear, a response of gratitude and positive action rather than vitriol, anger and blame. Spring is offering us a chance to replant our brains as well as our gardens: perhaps if we can’t avoid making assumptions about others, we could try making assumptions based on positive intent remembering that most people get up each day intending to do the very best they can in whatever situations they find themselves.


At Food Bank for the Heartland, we want to replace assumptions about others with understanding and to replace anger with acceptance. We want to operate from a belief that no one chooses to be hungry and that there is enough food for everyone in this country. We want to remember that blame is an impotent response to fear and vitriol only fosters defensiveness. Thank you for helping us remember to be our best selves and thank you for helping others set aside the anxiety that hunger can cause and become their best selves as well.

Susan Ogborn
President & CEO



How does food banking work?


  1. Donations

    Individuals, businesses, foundations, USDA, and organizations donate food, funds and volunteer time

  2. Central collection

    The Food Bank collects and distributes food to network partners and direct distribution programs

  3. Distribution

    Food pantries, shelters, schools, soup kitchens, mobile pantries and child nutrition programs organize distribution

  4. Support

    Food is provided to people who are struggling with hunger in Nebraska and western Iowa

What is a food bank?

A food bank is a non-profit organization that collects and distributes food to hunger-relief charities. Food Bank for the Heartland works with individuals, organizations, food manufacturers and distributors, grocery stores, the USDA and Feeding America to procure food. We also purchase food to supplement donations. The food is warehoused in our distribution center, and with help from volunteers, it is sorted, packed and re-distributed across Nebraska and western Iowa.

How does food at the Food Bank reach people in need?

The Food Bank distributes food to 535 non-profit organizations in Nebraska and western Iowa such as pantries, schools, emergency shelters and meal providers. These organizations then distribute food to individuals and families in need in their communities.

What food items are needed most at the Food Bank?

Items in the highest demand include those the Food Bank often buys. The list includes macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, rice, pancake mix, canned chicken, boxed potatoes, canned fruit and canned green beans.

Where does Food Bank for the Heartland receive its food?

In FY 2017, 46 percent of the food received by the Food Bank came from corporate donors such as manufacturers, grocers and retail stores; 32 percent was purchased by the Food Bank; 20 percent came from USDA commodities; 2 percent from food drives

Where does Food Bank for the Heartland receive its funding?

The Food Bank has an operating budget of $9.4 million and employs 50 people. On average, about 37 percent of the Food Bank’s revenue comes from individual donors; 35 percent is provided by corporate donors; 25 percent comes via foundations. The remaining 3 percent consists of gifts from civic groups, churches and schools.

Does Food Bank for the Heartland sell food?

No. The IRS prohibits food banks from selling food. The IRS does allow food banks to request partner organizations to contribute a shared maintenance fee to defray the cost of soliciting, collecting, storing and distributing food. The shared maintenance fee differs per item ranging from 0-16 cents per pound. There is no shared maintenance on produce, bakery, government commodities and soda. About 50 percent of the food distributed by the Food Bank has no shared maintenance fee. Partner organizations are not allowed to sell food they receive from Food Bank for the Heartland and must distribute to individuals. If a partner organization cannot pay the recommended shared maintenance fee, the Food Bank will work with that organization to address the costs in another way.