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Tyson Foods Grant Sponsors Monthly School Mobile Pantry in Lexington & Purchases a Tractor for Food Bank for the Heartland

Tyson Foods Grant Sponsors Monthly School Mobile Pantry in Lexington & Purchases a Tractor for Food Bank for the Heartland
Courtesy/Food Bank for the Heartland logo

Upcoming Mobile Pantry at Lexington Middle School 4-6 p.m. on Jan. 4th

OMAHA, Neb.– Hunger is as real in farming communities as it is in urban food deserts. Many children, families and seniors in rural areas struggle with food insecurity. Food Bank for the Heartland and Tyson Foods are committed to helping these neighbors in need.

Tyson Foods generously granted $105,000 to Food Bank for the Heartland to add a tractor trailer to the organization’s fleet and also to sponsor a monthly mobile pantry in partnership with Lexington Public Schools for residents in Dawson County. The 53-foot trailer is being utilized to deliver food throughout the Food Bank’s service area to agency partners and through the Mobile Pantry program.

“We’re proud to support Food Bank for the Heartland and know the mobile pantry will impact even more lives and hunger relief agencies this holiday season and beyond,” said Derek Burleson, Public Relations manager, Tyson Foods.

The monthly mobile pantry at Lexington Middle School began in August 2017 and continues to grow. On average each month, the Food Bank is distributing 20,000 lbs. of food free to more than 300 local families. Faculty members from Lexington Public Schools and other members of the community volunteer each month to host the mobile pantry.

The mobile pantry is for people living in Dawson County and surrounding communities. Those in need of the service are invited to bring boxes or bags to assist in carrying the food they receive. No identification is required to receive food. The mobile pantry recurs the first Thursday of each month at Lexington Middle School.

Food Bank for the Heartland’s mobile pantry program delivers food directly to communities that have a high need but limited food resources. The one-day distribution is free, and in Dawson County includes spaghetti, tomato sauce, canned pork and beans, cereal, pancake mix and other shelf-stable products along with perishable items, including a variety of fresh produce and bakery items.

“Tyson Foods is a tremendous supporter,” said Susan Ogborn, president and CEO of Food Bank for the Heartland. “We are grateful to the Tyson Foods Foundation for this generous grant which is allowing us to serve more food-insecure children, families and seniors across Nebraska and western Iowa. These funds are especially impactful in Dawson County through the monthly mobile pantry in partnership with the outstanding team at Lexington Public Schools.”

“I am so excited to be working with Food Bank for the Heartland to provide the mobile food pantry in Lexington,” said Kristi O’Meara “As the social worker with Lexington Public Schools, I am aware of the large number of students who live in food-insecure households. The monthly food pantry is a tremendous service to the community.”

Results of a study supported by the Conagra Brands Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the Nielsen Company show approximately 8.4 percent, or 2,030 people, in Dawson County are at-risk for hunger. That includes 17.7 percent, or 1,190 children. Map the Meal Gap 2017 is a study from Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, which provides data on a county level. Of the 1,812,662 people living in the 93 counties served by Food Bank for the Heartland, there are approximately 213,840 struggling with hunger according to study results.

The next mobile pantry at Lexington Middle School is scheduled for Thursday, January 4th from 4-6 p.m. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Lexington Middle School is located at 1100 N Washington Street, Lexington, NE 68850.

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