With rising food prices, Omaha Stuff the Truck event lends a hand

A food donation event sees a good turnout in Omaha
Published: Jun. 11, 2022 at 5:03 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - With prices soaring at the pump and on the shelf, many families are struggling to put food on the table. Food banks across the country are trying to help ease that burden.

Saturday, Food Bank for the Heartland hosted their Stuff the Truck event at the Baker’s Lakeside location just off of 173rd and Center.

Shoppers were encouraged to pick up a few extra items during their trip, and conveniently drop them in collection bins as they left the store.

“Right now there are nearly 207,000 people across the Heartland who are struggling with food insecurity, and summer is a critical time for people,” says Communications Manager Stephanie Sullivan. “It’s typically when donations are the lowest and the need is the highest. So right now we’re working with Baker’s to really help alleviate summer hunger.”

Food Bank for the Heartland has been running its Strike out Hunger Campaign for the last 15 years. Due to the pandemic, Sullivan explains they haven’t been able to run it to its full extent in the last few years. But Saturday’s collection ran to its full scale.

“We’re so excited to have that up and running again. What Strike Out Hunger is, is actually a friendly competition between local organizations here in the Heartland. They compete against each other to see who can raise the most funds and the most food for our neighbors in need.”

The rising cost of food and fuel has had a big impact on the food bank itself. To fill up the semi-truck with gas, it can cost $1,000.

Typically the food bank budgets $150,000 for freight. Right now, the staff is budgeting $600,000 for freight for 2023; 75% more than what was paid this year.

“The high costs are affecting us on all fronts, and that affects not only our operations, but how we distribute food to the nearly 600 network partners we work with.”

The food bank’s goal for Saturday was to collect more than 10,000 pounds of food. That will provide more than 40,000 meals to families throughout Nebraska and Western Iowa.

If you didn’t have a chance to stop by Saturday, the food bank is still collecting non-perishable food items.

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