Free Mobile Food Pantry in Bellevue January 28

OMAHA, Neb. January 24, 2019 – As federal employees brace for a second missed paycheck on Friday, many find themselves in the unfamiliar position of seeking food assistance for themselves and their families.

Food Bank for the Heartland is committed to helping those experiencing hardship during the partial government shutdown and is hosting a free mobile food pantry in Bellevue on Monday, January 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The mobile pantry will take place at Chandler View Elementary, 7800 S 25th St., Bellevue, NE 68147. Federal workers and their families attending may park in the lot south of the school building and enter through the main entrance.

“Food Bank for the Heartland anticipates that the need for emergency and supplemental food will continue to escalate into February and March – even if the government shutdown ends soon,” said Brian Barks, president and CEO of Food Bank for the Heartland. “We are pleased to provide this mobile pantry for federal workers and their families while increasing the amount of food we are pushing into our network of pantries, emergency shelters and other organizations. We are grateful for the public’s support and hope that we can continue to rely on our communities to help our neighbors in need.”

Approximately 12,000 – 14,000 pounds of food will be available for distribution and will include spaghetti, tomato sauce, canned chicken, rice and other shelf-stable products along with perishable items, including fresh apples, potatoes, pears, oranges and sliced bread.

Those attending the mobile pantry are asked to bring boxes or bags to assist in carrying the food they receive. Employees and volunteers from Food Bank for the Heartland, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Conagra Brands, and other corporate supporters will be available to assist recipients on Monday. No identification is required to obtain food.

A team of professionals from Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska will be on site to provide access to their programs for individuals and families, such as services for veterans, behavioral health needs, workforce development, children services and other community-based support.

“For more than a century, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska has committed to the safety, hope and well-being of all people,” said Stacy Martin, president and CEO of Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska. “Right now, we are called to serve an even greater number of people as the shutdown enters a second month. Partnering with Food Bank for the Heartland means that, together, we can address immediate needs from a whole-person perspective. Our professional services team is prepared to meet this growing need.”

Federal workers and their families who are unable to visit the mobile pantry, but are interested in learning more about behavioral health and other support services can contact Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska at (402) 342-7038.

Anticipating an increased need for food assistance during the government shut down, the Food Bank doubled its purchasing budget this month for its Mobile Pantry program. A schedule of additional upcoming mobile pantries can be found at https://foodbankheartland.org/get-food/.

The Food Bank’s SNAP outreach team has been communicating with recipients about their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and helping those who qualify get recertified. The Nebraska SNAP hotline is (855) 444-5556. The Iowa SNAP hotline is (855) 944-3663.

Food Bank for the Heartland’s Mobile Pantry program delivers food directly to communities that have a high need but limited food resources. In FY 2018, nearly 400 mobile pantries were held across the Food Bank’s 93-county service area helping approximately 47,400 food-insecure households.

If members of the community are seeking opportunities to help their neighbors in need, they are encouraged to visit www.FoodBankHeartland.org for information about volunteering to help repack food for distribution to pantries, organizing a food drive and donating funds to purchase additional food to distribute during these uncertain times.

Please click here for a flyer to download and share.

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Schedule of events at the mobile pantry on January 28:

4:30 p.m.             Food Bank for the Heartland’s truck arrives at Chandler View Elementary

4:30 p.m.             Food Bank staff members and volunteers from Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska unload the truck and set up for the mobile pantry.

4:30 p.m.             Brian Barks, president and CEO of Food Bank for the Heartland; and Paul Greenwell, clinical supervisor at Lutheran Family Services are available for media interviews.

5:30-7:30 p.m.   Food distribution at the mobile pantry

7:30 p.m.             Clean up

Members of the media are asked to be respectful of clients coming to the mobile pantry. For many, this may be their first experience seeking food assistance and are understandably emotional. Please refrain from shooting still images or video that identify individual clients. Food Bank for the Heartland and Lutheran Family Services staff members will help identify individuals and/or families who are interested in participating in media interviews and direct them to a designated area.

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About Food Bank for the Heartland (a member of Feeding America):

Food Bank for the Heartland is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Omaha, Nebraska that acts as a central clearinghouse distributing food to nearly 600 network partners across 77 counties in Nebraska and 16 counties in western Iowa. Food Bank for the Heartland has distributed approximately 22 million meals in FY 2018 helping thousands of children, families, seniors, veterans, and others in need. For more information, visit www.FoodBankHeartland.org.

About Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska:

Established in 1892, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska (LFS) is a faith-based, not-for-profit, multi-service human care agency with locations across Nebraska and an office in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The LFS mission is to provide human care services that build and strengthen individual, family and community life. As a multi-service organization, LFS demonstrates its mission through three broad service areas: behavioral health services, children services and community services. To learn more, visit www.LFSneb.org.