Online food lovers group in Omaha raising thousands of dollars for local food bank

Omaha community members support a local food bank
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 6:53 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Federal COVID assistance for the Food Bank of the Heartland is depleted and no longer available.

But the Omaha Food Lovers Facebook page hopes to help. It’s a group of nearly 90,000 members.

“We didn’t think it could get worse than what we saw during the pandemic, but it has,” said Stephanie Sullivan with the Food Bank of the Heartland. “We are doing more with less. And it has created a slew of challenges for us, our network partners, and those we serve.”

The page creator started the donation campaign three years ago.

“This is a group about food, but I think we need to realize there are a lot of people out there that are having hardships and aren’t able to get the food that they need,” said the creator Stacy Winters. “And what better organization to partner with than the Food Bank of the Heartland.”

The group’s goal this year is to raise $125,000. According to Sullivan, $1 can buy four meals.

“Monetary donations really allow us to take that dollar and stretch it much further because we can purchase in bulk,” said Sullivan.

Besides the feeling of doing good, donors get something else in return.

Every person who donates gets put into a raffle with over 400 gift cards from more than 250 Omaha food establishments.

Crescent Moon in Midtown is one of them. The owner participated last year in a couple of different ways.

“I do remember that I won a gift card because I donated personally myself,” said Bill Baburek, owner of the Crescent Moon. “It was kind of a win-win. I donated money, I got something back, and our business donated as well.”

The food bank serves 93 communities across Nebraska and western Iowa.

“That good that they’re doing is going to shine a light in these really uncertain times for so many children and so many families,” said Sullivan.

That light will shine even brighter because the food bank partnered with the Conagra Foundation, Scoular, Farm Credit Services of America & Baker’s to match donations up to $320,000. You just have to donate by December 31st.