Area food banks say that, just like the charities that helped storm victims this year, they’d appreciate donations of — money. Don Schinzel is director of the Nebraska Food Bank Network, which gets donations of food from manufacturers and processors like Con-Agra in Omaha. They share it with local food pantries in western Iowa and Nebraska, a process that’s costly. They collect the food and bring it into the warehouse, ship it back out, and pay freight for the products.
With the high cost of fuel, he says that’s a big expense to haul both local and national donations, and the group has a big freezer that costs three-thousand dollars a month in electricity to run. He says they can use money to help run the warehouse, so they can keep distributing food to the pantries. He explains the Network doesn’t hand out food directly, they act as a clearing house. It works well for the big donors, he says…as the companies don’t want “150 different pantries and other agencies coming and asking them for food.”
With the support of the Food Bank Network, more than 325 agencies serve over 160-thousand needy people in the region. Dropoff points include Dollar General Stores in Council Bluffs and Omaha.