All proceeds from the 6-week campaign benefitted Food Bank for the Heartland
(OMAHA, Neb.) – Conagra Brands announced today that with the generous support of the greater Omaha community, the 16th annual Shine the Light on Hunger campaign surpassed its goal of raising 3 million meals. The final number – 12,438,273 meals – was announced at a press conference this afternoon.
“The generosity shown by businesses, leaders, and individuals throughout this community is simply extraordinary,” said Rahul Sualy, Senior Director of Business Services at Conagra Brands. “Shine the Light on Hunger amplifies the compassion and generosity of this incredible community and demonstrates the power of our collective efforts to do so much good for people we may never personally know. On behalf of Conagra Brands, I am so proud to have helped the Food Bank for the Heartland raise more than 12 million meals for this community.”
This year, El Museo Latino, Great Plains Black History Museum, and Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater helped support the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign by hosting blue donation barrels to collect non-perishable food items from their patrons throughout the holidays. These organizations join other Omaha arts and cultural institutions like The Durham Museum, Holland Performing Arts Center, Omaha Children’s Museum, Omaha Community Playhouse, Omaha Symphony, the Orpheum Theater, and Opera Omaha in hosting these blue collection barrels, as well as all Baker’s Supermarkets throughout the Omaha Metro Area.
“We are so honored once again to be a part of the Shine the Light on Hunger campaign,” said Sheila Regehr, Corporate Affairs Manager at Baker’s. “This campaign aligns with our Zero Hunger Zero Waste commitment, and we are happy to do our part to help our neighbors in the greater Omaha community who are impacted by food insecurity.”
Once again this year, Park Omaha participated by encouraging the public to make monetary donations through charitable, candy cane-striped “parking meters” strategically located on sidewalks near businesses in the Old Market, Blackstone District, and Midtown Crossing. These “parking meters” accepted donations of both spare change and cards, with all contributions supporting Food Bank for the Heartland.
“Food Bank for the Heartland is honored to serve this community, and I thank everyone who supported this important campaign,” said Brian Barks, President and CEO of Food Bank for the Heartland. “Sixteen years of serving children, families, seniors, and veterans in the Heartland through this campaign is an incredible milestone. Shine the Light on Hunger continues to support our neighbors who struggle with food insecurity. This support is critical as we are still impacted by the crippling effects of inflation. We are grateful to Conagra Brands Foundation; the Scoular Foundation; Farm Credit Services of America; Baker’s; Mayor Stothert; the City of Omaha; Downtown Omaha, Inc. Foundation; Holiday Lights Festival; and Park Omaha for championing this initiative and to our community for its extraordinary support this year.”
Conagra Brands Foundation matched all campaign funds up to $100,000. This year, the campaign also saw matching gifts of $100,000 from the Scoular Foundation; $100,000 from Farm Credit Services of America; $20,000 from Baker’s Supermarkets’ Zero Hunger Zero Waste commitment; and $10,000 from the Holiday Lights Festival. Additional donations were provided by multiple corporate, foundation, and individual donors throughout the Omaha community.
The Shine the Light on Hunger campaign reinforces the significant commitment by Conagra Brands and the 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 non-profit 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
In 1999, a coalition of city officials, corporations, and foundations chose to present a legacy gift of holiday lights to the City of Omaha as the Millennium Lights celebration. The Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation was established the following year, and the Millennium Lights officially transformed to the Holiday Lights Festival. Since then, 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 on the 2022 Holiday Lights Festival, visit www.HolidayLightsFestival.org and follow the Festival on both Facebook and Instagram.
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 (a member of Feeding America)
Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Food Bank for the Heartland—a member of Feeding America—is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a vital focus: to provide nourishment to Heartland neighbors facing food insecurity with respect, integrity, and urgency. Food Bank for the Heartland works with 544 network partners in 93 counties across Nebraska and western Iowa offering multiple hunger-relief and nutrition programs. The Food Bank is currently providing, on average, more than 2.2 million meals each month. For more information, visit www.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 www.bakersplus.com.
Scoular is an employee-owned, over $9B agribusiness leading the way since 1892. We buy, sell, store, handle and process grain and ingredients by leveraging our global networks and expertise in international trade and transportation. Employing 1,400 people in more than 100 offices and facilities in North America and Asia, we provide safe and reliable solutions to farmers, grain processors, renewable energy producers and manufacturers of animal feed, aquafeed and pet food as well as food, beverages and supplements. Scoular, headquartered in Omaha, ranks 48th on the Forbes list of America’s largest private companies.
About Farm Credit Services of America
Farm Credit Services of America is a customer-owned financial cooperative proud to finance the growth of rural America, including the special needs of young and beginning producers. With nearly $37.6 billion in assets and $6.9 billion in members’ equity, FCSAmerica is one of the region’s leading providers of credit and insurance services to farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Learn more at fcsamerica.com.