Food Bank for the Heartland was featured in the NBC News Special Report: Coronavirus Pandemic that aired nationally on April 7, 2020.
“In an average month, Brian Barks, the CEO of Food Bank for the Heartland, spends about $73,000 buying food to distribute to people in need across Nebraska and western Iowa. Last month, as the coronavirus was spreading across the U.S., he spent $675,000.
That’s a nearly tenfold increase, because Food Bank for the Heartland, like food banks and pantries across the country, is facing a steep drop-off in the bread and butter of its operations: food donated by supermarkets and farms.”
Brian Barks with Food Bank for the Heartland says “we’ve known for a long time we have a food insecurity problem in our communities.”
“In our state(s), in our nation,” said Barks, the nonprofit organization’s president and CEO, at a drive-thru mobile pantry at Lewis Central High School and Middle School Wednesday.
The coronavirus epidemic “is exposing that problem. And unfortunately, it’s also exacerbating that problem.”
As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program, Food Bank for the Heartland is scheduled to begin receiving food boxes on Thursday, May 28. These critical food resources will be distributed to individuals and families in need across Nebraska and western Iowa through the Food Bank’s network of pantries and its Mobile Pantry program.
In the first week the Food Bank is scheduled to received 3,840 protein boxes from Cargill plants in Nebraska and 1,760 cases of fresh produce from C&C Produce in Kansas City, Missouri. Each protein box contains 5 lbs. of ground sausage and 5 lbs. of hot dogs. Each fresh produce box contains 26 lbs. of mixed fruits and vegetables.
The Food Bank will begin distributing these boxes on June 1 to Omaha pantries Together and Heart Ministry Center to fulfill their protein and produce needs. The produce boxes will also be distributed through the Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry program at distributions starting June 2.
Meet Jason. Jason participated in Heart Ministry Center’s 15-week Fresh Start Program that provides participants with job skills training, financial education, therapy, food assistance, and other support.Learn more
In continuing to prioritize health and safety of our partners, clients, volunteers and employees, Food Bank for the Heartland is closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation concerning the possible community transmission of COVID-19.Learn more
Strike Out Hunger is a friendly competition among Metro area businesses to determine which companies can generate the most funds and food. The competition lasts the month of June and helps to feed children and families in Nebraska and western Iowa.Learn more