Wherever I go, caring people ask me “How’s the Food Bank doing?” It’s a surprisingly challenging question: we have a wonderful team doing excellent work; we have amazing community support; and while we wish a lack of need would put us out of business, we’re doing “better” every year, serving over 250,000 different individuals in fiscal year 2012.
In some ways, to paraphrase Charles Dickens, it is the best of times and the worst of times. The United States’ economy is improving, while large numbers of people have given up looking for work or accepted a job paying significantly less than their previous position. More people than ever before are qualifying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
We have just completed a full year in our new facility which provides greater distribution efficiency, but also during this year we received 2 million pounds less donated food. Generous neighbors, individual, corporate, faith-based and civic, have set a new record of financial giving, but every new dollar has been spent to purchase food needed to make up for the cuts in government commodities. And now after a spring forecast for the best agricultural yields in US history, the Heartland is facing its most severe drought since the 1950’s, a sure signal of increased need and decreased food availability over the next 6 – 12 months.
Fortunately Nebraskans and Iowans do care about neighbors even in the most challenging of times. Food Bank for the Heartland’s core values remain service, urgency, integrity and respect which we believe reflect the values of our communities. This report is an effort to share with you our activities, our priorities, and our stewardship within a framework of those values.
As always, if you have any questions or suggestions feel free to call. And thank you for all you do to eliminate hunger in our community.
President & CEO