Omaha Public Radio News
Thu September 8, 2011
Food banks say donations are critically needed
By Katie Schubert
Omaha, NE – Omaha's food pantries say there's a critical shortage of food available for individuals and families who need it.
Together Inc. and Food Bank of the Heartland say this summer's Missouri River flooding has kept some shipments from reaching Omaha. That, combined with fewer donations and increased need, have food pantries struggling to meet demand.
Brian Barks, spokesman for Food Bank of the Heartland, says 200,000 people in the organization's 93 county service area are food insecure--meaning they don't know where their next meal is coming from. Of those, 92,000 are kids.
Michelle Dill is executive Director of Together Inc., which operates a food pantry. She says those needing assistance are often struggling just to make ends meet. Dill says 85 percent of families seeking food assistance from Together Inc. request it only once.
The shortage has hit Omaha's Angel Food Ministries, where families can buy a box of food. The organization isn't taking orders for September.
More information about donating can be found at www.omahafoodbank.org and www.togetheromaha.org. Omaha Public Library branches are accepting non-perishable items for the city's food pantries.