About Us

 

MISSION

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

VISION

To eliminate hunger in our community.

VALUES

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 600 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. In FY 2021, we provided 37,070,228 meals to our neighbors across the Heartland. 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.

2021 Annual Report
2020 Annual Report
2019 Annual Report
2020 Audit
2019 Audit
2020 Form 990
2019 Form 990
 

1981

A need for a food bank in Omaha
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1981

The first year of operation
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1985

The Food Bank’s client base grows rapidly
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1986

Chuck Raffensperger is named the executive director
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1993

Don Schinzel is named the third executive director
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1998

ConAgra Foods Foundation
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1999

Upgrades to a larger building
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2001

The first Kids Cafe site opens
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2006

The BackPack program launches
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2009

The Food Bank welcomes Susan E. Ogborn as president and CEO
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2009

New name and logo
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2011

Food Bank for the Heartland relocates
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2011

Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen program
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2014

Ruth Scott Volunteer Center
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2015

15.8 million pounds of food
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2018

The Food Bank welcomes Brian Barks as president and CEO.
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Who we are

Leadership
Board of Directors
President’s message

Executive Team

Brian Barks

 Brian Barks
  President & CEO

Donna Naimoli

 Donna Naimoli
  Senior Executive Assistant

Leslie Delperdang

 Leslie Delperdang
  VP, Finance & Accounting

Kelly Ptacek

 Kelly Ptacek
  VP, External Affairs

Ericka Smrcka

 Ericka Smrcka
  VP, Operations

Director Team

Margie Bell
Senior Director of Human Resources
Travis Carlson
Director of Marketing & Communications
Joanne Kamppinen
Director of Development

David Love
Senior Director of Operations
Shelley Mann
Director of Public Benefit Programs

Jason Moucka
Director of Food Sourcing & Processing
Michelle Sause
Director of Network Relations


Denise McCauley, Chair
WoodmenLife
Chad Werner, Chair-elect
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
Tom McLaughlin, Secretary
OneWorld Community Health Centers
Nate Christ, Treasurer
Elemental Scientific
Brian Barks, President
Food Bank for the Heartland
Daniel Applegarth
Orion Advisor Solutions
Eric R. Arneson
Lindsay Corporation
Jeff Austin
Huffman Engineering, Inc.

Tom Burke
Dell Technologies
Angi Chamberlain
Valmont Industries, Inc.
Roger Deal
Sequoia Wealth Partners, LLC
Matthew DeBoer
HDR
Greg Fripp
Whispering Roots
Rick Hansen
Conagra Brands
Tiffani Keckler
Five Points Bank
Craig Kinnison
Farm Credit Services of America

Duncan Murphy
Riekes Equipment & Bublitz Material Handling
Melissa Taylor
M&E Consulting
David Tomlinson
Scoular
Susan Violi
MECA
Steve Wallace
PayPal
Stephen E. Gehring, Legal Counsel
Cline Williams

FALL 2021

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.

 

FAQs

How does food banking work?

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  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 nearly 600 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 2021, 31.8 percent of the food received by the Food Bank came from individual and corporate donors such as manufacturers, grocers and retail stores; 43.5 percent was purchased by the Food Bank; 24.7 percent came from USDA commodities

Does Food Bank for the Heartland sell food?

No. The IRS prohibits food banks from selling food.