As we head into fall in the Heartland, I remain in awe of the power of our community to come together and serve our neighbors in need. Together, we’ve weathered years of literal and figurative storms. And though we’ve shared heartbreak, devastation, and uncertainty, we’ve met these challenges with compassion, grit, and an outpouring of generosity.
The lessons we’ve learned along the way have led to stronger partnerships and impactful innovation. A striking example of this is an initiative launched earlier this year. With support from our friends at Cargill and Feeding America, we built a regional USDA-certified “clean room.” This facility allows us to safely process large protein donations from Cargill and others — and prepare it for distribution across our network.
Our clean room helps us address a significant need for those facing hunger. Items rich in protein, particularly meat products, provide key nutrition and often serve as the main ingredient in popular dishes, but they’re generally more expensive and less frequently donated than other foods. The ability to accept bulk protein and portion it into family-friendly packages allows us to distribute high-quality, healthy food for more families in need. Since its launch, more than 126,558 pounds of protein have been repacked through our clean room!
As we look to expand the footprint, staffing, and capacity of our clean room in FY 2021-2022, we continue to pursue other opportunities to serve more people in more ways, an endeavor only made possible through the support of our donors, volunteers, and partners. Together, we are a powerful and growing force for good, filling families with hope and their tables with healthy food. Thank you for being a part of it.