Thieves hit heartland food bank

News

January 4th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Food banks are already dealing with a rise in demand and a drop in donations but troubles are compounded for the Food Bank for the Heartland. The non-profit group, serving western Iowa and eastern Nebraska, was targeted by thieves. Spokesman Brian Barks says they recently moved to a new building in Omaha and discovered vandals ripping into the air conditioning and heat units at the old building. Barks says, “It was during the inspection, prior to the closing of the building, that it was discovered that all of the copper had been ripped out of a number of the units on the roof of the building.” Repairing the damage may cost 90-thousand dollars. Barks says they are hoping insurance will pay for the damage but have a back-up plan in place.

Barks says, “That money would be going into our endowment fund but if we do have to pay it out of pocket, that money will be going to pay for new units.” No arrests have been made. The Food Bank for the Heartland serves 93 counties in Nebraska and Iowa, distributing nine-million pounds of food a year though more than 300 food pantries, emergency shelters, after-school programs, senior housing sites and rehabilitation centers. Learn more about the charity at: “www.omahafoodbank.org”.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)