2023 Shine the Light on Hunger Campaign Exceeds Goal of 5 Million Meals

All Proceeds from Campaign, Led by Conagra Brands Foundation, Benefits Food Bank for the Heartland

(OMAHA, Neb.) January 22, 2024.Conagra Brands announced today that with the generous support of the Omaha community, the 17th annual Shine the Light on Hunger campaign surpassed its goal of raising 5 million meals by 85%. The final number – 9,262,511 meals – was announced at a press conference this morning.

“As a longtime Omaha resident, I have so much pride for this great city, said Karen Black, Vice President Research and Development at Conagra Brands. “Shine the Light on Hunger continues to be a campaign that inspires us all to come together so that children, teens, adults and seniors throughout western Iowa and Nebraska have the food they need to thrive. The success of this year’s effort in raising more than 9 million meals is an immense source of pride as it highlights the incredible attributes that define the community leaders, businesses, and neighbors that call Omaha home.”

Omaha’s local arts and cultural institutions – including El Museo Latino, Great Plains Black History Museum, Omaha Symphony, and many others – helped support this year’s campaign by hosting blue donation barrels to collect non-perishable food items form their patrons throughout the holidays. These organizations joined Baker’s Supermarkets throughout the metro in hosting these blue collection barrels.

“We are always happy to do our part and help our neighbors impacted by food insecurity,” said Sheila Regehr, Corporate Affairs Manager at Baker’s. “It is inspiring to see our customers and associates as they come together during this annual campaign and help provide nutritious food for community members in need.”

Park Omaha participated by encouraging the public to make monetary donations through their special red-and-white striped parking meters placed throughout the Old Market, Midtown Crossing, and the Blackstone District, and included a digital donation option on their payment app and at their multi-space parking kiosks.

“This campaign is a shining example of the generous spirit of our corporate community and our neighbors across the Omaha metro,” said Food Bank for the Heartland’s President and CEO, Brian Barks. “As the Food Bank faces record food insecurity levels, we could not deploy our mission without the ongoing support from our partners to create sustained change in the fight against hunger.”

Conagra Brands Foundation matched all monetary donations up to $100,000 and additional gifts from The Scoular Foundation, Farm Credit Services of America, and Baker’s, achieved a total of $245,000 in matched financial donations. The campaign also saw generous contributions from corporate, foundation, and individual donors, and a donation from event partner Holiday Lights Festival. In total, the campaign raised over $3,000,000 dollars for Food Bank for the Heartland.

The Shine the Light on Hunger campaign reinforces the significant commitment by Conagra Brands and Conagra Brands Foundation to improve the quality of life for millions of families by taking action to impact the issue of hunger. Taking a year-round approach with nonprofit partners across the U.S., Conagra Brands contributes funds, donates food, engages its employees as volunteers, and helps raise awareness to mobilize the public to support food and meal programs for people when they need it most.

About Holiday Lights Festival

Since 1999, the Festival has become an annual celebration of Omaha’s holiday spirit, complete with free, family-friendly events scheduled throughout the entire holiday season. In 2007, the Holiday Lights Festival added the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign, sponsored by Conagra Brands Foundation and in partnership with Food Bank for the Heartland. For more information, visit HolidayLightsFestival.org and follow the Festival on both Facebook and Instagram.

The Holiday Lights Festival is produced by Mayor Jean Stothert and Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation, with event partners Conagra Brands and The RiverFront, and media sponsors KETV Channel 7 and STAR 104.5 The Christmas Station.

About Conagra Brands Foundation

Conagra Brands Foundation believes everyone has a right to healthy and nutritious food, while recognizing that food insecurity exists in every U.S. county. The Foundation partners with exceptional national and local nonprofits with high-impact programs located in the communities where we live and work. By focusing our efforts within five areas: Direct Food Access, Cooking Skills, Nutrition Education, Healthy and Active Lifestyles and Urban Agriculture, we are able to be a leader in the fight against food insecurity in North America.

About Food Bank for the Heartland:

Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Food Bank for the Heartland—a Partner Food Bank of Feeding America—is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to eliminate hunger in the Heartland by ensuring consistent access to healthy foods through community partnerships. Food Bank for the Heartland works with 555 network partners in 93 counties across Nebraska and western Iowa offering multiple hunger-relief and nutrition programs, helping to break the cycle of food insecurity among children, families, seniors, and veterans. For more information, visit FoodBankHeartland.org

About Dillon Stores Division and Baker’s Supermarkets

Dillon Stores, headquartered in Hutchinson, KS, is a division of The Kroger Company, one of the nation’s largest retail grocery chains. Dillon Stores operates 80 stores in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska (under the Dillons, Baker’s, and Gerber’s banners) and employs more than 12,000 individuals. Dillon Stores Division focuses its charitable efforts on supporting hunger relief, health and wellness initiatives, local schools, and grassroots organizations in the communities it serves. For more information on Baker’s please visit our website at BakersPlus.com.