Monday, December 5, 2011

Kids Cafe

Kids Cafe is one of the nation's largest free meal service programs for children. Founded in 1993 by Feeding America, ConAgra Foods became the program’s national sponsor six years later, and today there are over 1,300 Kids Cafe locations across the country. To give some perspective, there are now more Kids Cafes in the United States than IHOP Restaurants!

Food Bank for the Heartland provides food for 10 Kids Cafes and four after school snack sites in the Omaha and Council Bluffs metro area. We serve 2,000 meals each week to children who are at-risk of being hungry. A $100 donation provides 68 meals for children in the program.

The goal of the Kids Cafe program is to provide an evening meal to children in our community in partnership with organizations that offer a safe haven after school. Food Bank for the Heartland works with the following locations to provide Kids Cafe:

Lydia House at the Open Door Mission
Ruth K. Solomon Center for Girls
Camp Fire USA at Gomez-Heritage School
Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership (ENCAP)
The Hope Center for Kids
Boys & Girls Club, Carter Lake
Salvation Army North Corps
South Omaha YMCA
Camp Fire USA at Saint Mary
Boys & Girls Club, Council Bluffs

For information on starting a Kids Cafe, please contact Ericka Smrcka, Director of Programs & Advocacy, 402.905.4803.

A $1 Donation Provides 3 Meals

Food Bank for the Heartland is grateful for all donations, but we can help more people in need with a dollar than a canned good. The Food Bank purchases food to supplement the items donated by individuals and companies to meet the increased demand for food in our service area.

We are able to purchase food at a lower rate than customers at a grocery store. For example, the Food Bank can buy a box of macaroni and cheese for 36 cents when it would cost the average consumer much more than that. A $5 donation will feed a family of four for one day.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Food Bank for the Heartland distributed over 9 million pounds of food in 2010.

We Need Your Help

Some food items fly off the shelves faster than they can be stocked. 

Peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, canned chicken and canned tuna are always in high demand at Food Bank for the Heartland. For example, we distribute approximately 10,000 boxes of macaroni and cheese and 14,500 cans of tuna to our nonprofit agencies each month. The Food Bank distributed 9,000,588 pounds of food in 2010, which is a 37 percent increase from 2009.

Your generous donation of food or money helps feed hungry children, families and seniors in our community.

Thanks For Your Help

Everyday people here in our community face devastating hunger issues -- families that are experiencing cutbacks and layoffs during this difficult economic climate; children who arrive at school hungry because their parents cannot afford to feed them breakfast and seniors citizens on fixed incomes who are forced to choose between food and medicine.

Hunger affects thousands of people in Nebraska and western Iowa, but Food Bank for the Heartland is committed to raising awareness about this epidemic and working to eliminate it.

Thanks for Your Help!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Strike Out Hunger Raises Food & Funds

The fifth annual Strike Out Hunger food and funds drive raised 6,365 pounds of food and $17,865 during the month of June for Food Bank for the Heartland!

2011 East Division Champions

Most Donated per Employee:
Champion: Husch Blackwell
Runner Up: Kutak Rock

Most Donated Overall:
Champion: Woodmen of the World
Runner Up: Kutak Rock

2011 West Division Champions

Most Donated per Employee:
Champion: Union Bank & Trust Company
Runner Up: Millard Lumber

Most Donated Overall:
Champion: US Bank
Runner Up: PayPal

2011 Grand Champions

Most Donated per Employee:
Union Bank & Trust Company

Most Donated Overall:
US Bank

Thank you to the steering committee that organized Strike Out Hunger and all the companies that participated and made it a success!

$300,000 Goal for the Woodhouse BackPack Challenge

For the third year, the generous folks at the Woodhouse Auto Family are hosting the Woodhouse Auto Challenge to benefit Food Bank for the Heartland's BackPack program.

Through the month of November, the Woodhouse Auto Family, Clear Channel and the community will be raising money. The goal this year is $300,000!

Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011

One in five children in Nebraska and Iowa struggles with hunger. This staggering statistic is from a new study done by Feeding America. Map the Meal Gap: Child Food Insecurity 2011 provides data on a county level.

There are approximately 444,893 children in the 93 counties served by Food Bank for the Heartland, and and 92,270 of them are struggling with hunger. Douglas County has the most children at-risk for hunger (26,970) followed by Sarpy County (7,600) in Nebraska, Woodbury County (6,370) and Pottawattamie County (4,420) in Iowa. Thurston County has the highest rate of child food insecurity at 35.9 percent while Logan County has the lowest at 14.3 percent.