Who We Are

Connecting our communities with food, resources and hope since 1981.

Each day, our neighbors, friends, classmates and co-workers — from families with small children to seniors — struggle to find the nutritious food they need to work, grow, and thrive. Food insecurity is a real problem in our region, and its effects are devastating.

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Food Bank for the Heartland is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a vital focus: to provide food to those struggling with hunger in Nebraska and western Iowa, to ultimately eliminate hunger in our communities, and to serve our neighbors with respect, integrity and urgency. We are the largest food bank in our two-state region, serving 93 counties.

We have a big job on our hands, which is why we see the fight against hunger as an ongoing, collaborative effort. We work with individuals, organizations, food manufacturers and distributors, grocery stores, the USDA and Feeding America to procure food, and we purchase food to supplement donations.

Our volunteers help keep our 76,000 square-foot warehouse running quickly and efficiently, and our donors are essential to the success of our programs and mission. For every dollar we receive, we are able to provide up to four meals to a neighbor in need.

Through the collective power of our leadership, staff, partners, volunteers and donors, we are able to reach more communities, serve more people, and address food insecurity in a more direct and effective way. As new needs arise, we are ready.

Our Philosophy

Every service we provide, program we offer and decision we make is rooted in our core Mission, Vision and Values.

Mission

Mission

To eliminate hunger in the Heartland by ensuring consistent access to healthy foods through community partnerships.

Vision

Vision

To eliminate hunger in our communities.

Values

Values

In everything we do, we serve with respect, integrity and urgency.

Clean Room Program

In 2021, 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. The clean room was built through the support of a grant from Cargill and Feeding America, who, along with other suppliers such as Conagra Brands and Smithfield, donate high-protein items like chicken, turkey, beef, sausage, and eggs. Clean room staff then sort and portion these items into smaller packages which are distributed to families in need through the Food Bank’s network partners.

Our Programs

Food Bank for the Heartland works with network partners, including pantries, schools, churches, emergency shelters and other non-profit organizations to supply emergency and supplemental food.

Community Voices

News & Community Voices

Discover the latest news about the Food Bank, hear from those throughout the communities we serve, our partners and more.
Our Team

Careers

Join the Food Bank team and help eliminate hunger in our service area — one initiative, program and thoughtful decision at a time.
Client Base Grows Rapidly

Our Story

For 40 years and counting, Food Bank for the Heartland has played a pivotal role in uniting communities across Nebraska and Western Iowa in the fight against food insecurity.

Reports & Resources

We want to make sure you, as a community stakeholder, have all of the resources and support you need going forward. View our annual report, important tax forms, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

A food bank is a non-profit organization that collects and redistributes 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.

The Food Bank distributes food to 589 network partners in Nebraska and western Iowa, including pantries, schools, churches, emergency shelters and other non-profit organizations. The food is then distributed to individuals and families in need in communities across the Heartland.

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. Learn more.

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

In FY 2021, 46 percent of the Food Bank’s financial donations came from individual donors; 25 percent was provided by foundations; 22 percent was came from corporate donors. The remaining 7 percent consists of gifts from civic groups, churches, schools, unions, and the Food Bank’s Foodies group. The Food Bank also receives government support. Learn more by clicking here.

No. The IRS prohibits food banks from selling food.