Ted Killham is a dedicated volunteer at Food Bank for the Heartland who shows up every Wednesday morning. As a grandfather, it’s his passion to help children that keeps him coming back week after week. “Anytime you can help kids live their life like normal, it’s a plus. I really appreciate the BackPack Program here. It’s a very needed project in our state and I appreciate that I can be a part of it.”
While Ted physically helps package the more than 8,000 BackPack meals distributed every week during the school year, he has found additional ways to support this important program.
As a dedicated member of the Kiwanis Omaha Golden K Club for eight years, Ted has taken the lead on the club’s fundraising efforts with the Food Bank. “We’ve given anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000 to the BackPack Program over the last several years. Last year we were able to give $10,000 and with a generous match, that total was doubled—which is even better.”
The Kiwanis Club is an international service organization dedicated to serving the community through volunteer outreach with local organizations helping children. Ted says his time volunteering with various nonprofits—including the Food Bank—has made him appreciate his younger years.
“It reinforces how lucky we are and how much nutrition is a big part of life. It’s something that growing up I just took for granted. My mom made do with what we had, but I always had enough. Whether I knew it or not at the time, those were good memories. I want to make a difference for kids here in Omaha and make sure they have the same good memories.”
Ted says it’s also opened his eyes to the need in our communities—a need he believes most people don’t realize exists. “I was always in my own little world before coming here. I knew about the food bank and pantries, but I didn’t know the extent of food insecurity in the metro area, and across Nebraska and Iowa,” says Ted.
“There are people you encounter every day that probably haven’t had a meal in while, or they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. And that’s pretty disturbing when you think about it. Prior to volunteering, I never really thought about it.”
Ted is hopeful he can continue to bring awareness to the need and is grateful to both the Kiwanis Club and the Food Bank for the opportunity to do so. “Kiwanis brought me into a group of people dedicated to volunteering. It opened my eyes to what people are doing in the community and how I can be involved. I love my time at the Food Bank. It’s great to get to know others and make a direct impact in my community. I feel good knowing more people are learning about the Food Bank and want to be a part of it.”