Our Visit to the Food Bank for the Heartland

Things don't always go as planned, and sometimes, it just makes the experience better.

That was our experience when I tried to put together a Blogger event at the local Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha, NE, as part of our involvement as a blogger correspondent for the Child Hunger Ends Here campaign.  Everyone I invited was previously engaged, ill, or busy.  I took it as a challenge to make it the best experience possible for my family.  It turned out fabulous!

We met with the local outreach person at the food bank, Brian.  He showed us a quick video they had made of how the bank helped people in the community.  The statistics of the number of people that this particular bank served was staggering.  We also learned that they would be moving to a new location in July, which would help them serve even more people in the states of Nebraska and Iowa.

If you are not familiar with Nebraska, we are a sparsely populated state.  There are many places out west where there is much land separating each community.  To get food to these areas is costly, and yet, the food bank is making it happen!  With the rising cost of fuel, Food Bank for the Heartland needs financial help more than ever.  It just motivated me even more to get thinking about how our family could help.

Our tour went very well.  I had 4 of my 5 kids with me, as my oldest son was ill and home with hubby.  We did some fun things, like weigh the kids on the food scale and even sort a few cans!  My boys were shy, but they took it all in and were very well-behaved.  My daughter was moved by the visit, and pledged all of her "charity" money that she has been saving for years to this food bank.  I'm so proud of her!

Here are some more highlights:

Matthias sorting a can or two

A very shy Moses stepping on the food scale
Kylin and Marcus getting to know the staff and volunteers
We left yesterday with a better understanding of how food is distributed to families in need. As with most non-profit groups, our food bank loves food, but can use cash even more effectively.

If you feel like you would like to get more involved in the fight against hunger in your community, I encourage you to find your closest food bank under the Feeding America umbrella. (With all the recent weather damage in the U.S., I'm sure they'll need help more than ever.)  Also, you can find out how your purchase of foods from the ConAgra brand can give even more meals to families in need.

Wanna help now? See the stories of those who benefit from your generosity in the fight against child hunger at facebook.com/ConAgraFoods. Every time you share a story on your Facebook page through August 31, 2011, ConAgra Foods will help Feeding America secure an additional meal, up to 100,000.

*I am a compensated blogger correspondent for ConAgra's Child Hunger Ends Here campaign.  Opinions and experiences shared here are my own.