Week 16 – Food Bank for the Heartland

The Business & Finance leadership team at UNO have for years pooled funds toward a gift to a local charity in lieu of holiday gifts to each other.  This year we picked the Food Bank for the Heartland.  I gave my usual, plus $50.

food bankInstead of just mailing in the collective gift, we delivered it in person and met with Brian Barks, Director of Development and PR of the Food Bank. He gave us a tour and a great overview of their operations.  In August 2011, the Food Bank moved to their current location at 105th & J, an impressive and beautiful 76,000 s.f. warehouse and office facility.

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Food Bank for the Heartland is a nonprofit organization that serves more than 325 food pantries, emergency shelters, after-school programs, senior housing sites and rehabilitation centers in our area. They are the largest food bank in Nebraska and Iowa, serving 93 counties in the two-state region.

Their mission is to provide emergency and supplemental food to the people in need in Nebraska and western Iowa. Their vision is to eliminate hunger in our community.

Their values are “in everything we do, we serve with respect, integrity and urgency.”

The Food Bank works with individuals, organizations, food manufacturers, food distributors, grocery stores and the USDA to procure food and household products. The Food Bank also collects resources from Feeding America, a national network of 200 food banks.

During the 2012 fiscal year, they distributed nearly 9 million pounds of food to local nonprofit agencies that in turn delivered it directly to those in need in their neighborhoods and communities.

Food and other items distributed through Food Bank for the Heartland have touched over 250,000 lives this past fiscal year.

I’m thankful that I’m not hungry.  I admire and appreciate the work of the Food Bank for the Heartland!

To find out more about the Food Bank, go to: http://www.foodbankheartland.org

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