We just finished “Giving Tuesday” but some nonprofits in the state are still struggling.

Kelly Ptacek, with the Food Bank for the Heartland, says they’re still in dire need of donations of canned and packaged food as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

“We work with our partners in the community to try to help provide produce in particular, but lots of food to those that need it,” Ptacek says. “When you make your family meals, things like apples, potatoes, onions, carrots, those kinds of basic pieces of your meal.” Those fresh items are always in high demand at the Omaha-based food bank. She says cash donations are also extremely useful.

“We can buy produce in particular but food in bulk so we get a better rate when we have the cash to be able to buy that food,” Ptacek says. “We also do can drives and we take food at the food bank as well. We’ll sort that and then send it back out to our partner agencies so they’ll have both shelf-stable food as well as the fresh produce.” With the early arrival of cold winter-like weather, she says hungry people across the region are relying even more on the agency for their daily meals.

“We are seeing still a significant need,” Ptacek says. “We serve 16 counties in western Iowa and 77 counties in Nebraska. There are 80,000 children in the area who are food insecure. That is a large number of children that we want to make sure we can get food into their homes.”

Learn more about the organization or make a donation at: foodbankheartland.org.