Food Bank for the Heartland converted a 600 square-foot section of its Volunteer Center into a regional USDA-certified “clean room” — becoming one of six food banks in the country to offer this state-of the-art-facility. Named for its stringent adherence to food-processing safety standards, this new space allows the Food Bank to properly handle bulk quantities of food — specifically animal-based protein.
This was developed all while responding to the continuing pandemic with an unprecedented volume of distributed meals. In FY 2021, the Food Bank provided more than 37 million meals — 8.9 million more than the previous year.