Food Donations Are At An All-Time Low - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; |

Food Donations Are At An All-Time Low

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OMAHA (kptm) - Valentines day is months away but it looks like love is in the air at In Bloom floral shop in Fremont.  That's because the roses there, are part of Caring Rose Week.  And now through Saturday, if you donate two cans of food to participating flower shops you'll get a dozen roses for just 10 dollars.  Owner Jenefer Backhaus says, "they get to give back and get a dozen roses in return."

This year In Bloom ordered nearly 400 roses for the effort.  Backhaus says with the holidays just around the corner, she felt it was important to give back.  "Definitely feels like it's that time of year when you need to open up your heart and help others with the economy and things like that, it's really just important."

The canned goods will be delivered to local food distribution charities like Together and The Food Bank of the Heartland.  Organizations that currently have empty shelves.  President of The Food Bank of the Heartland, Susan Ogborn says, "This is the lowest that we've been, in anytime any of us can remember."

Even government sources that these charities typically rely on, have shrunk.  "It really worries us a lot and many of us are working 24-7 to try to find more sources of food, to try to find larger sources of food and to get it in here in time for the holidays," Ogborn says.

But with thanksgiving only a few days away, they have no choice but to rely on public donations.  "Without the communities support, there will probably be some families that won't get Thanksgiving dinner," says Mike Hornacek, Executive Director of Together.

The shelves at Together are bare.  They say by Friday, they need 406 Thanksgiving meals.  Right now they only have half of that.  And for the entire year, if every family in Omaha donated a grocery bag full of food, it still wouldn't be enough.  "I've been very careful to use the word crisis because I don't want it to seem like the world's coming to an end, but we're very close.  We're to the point where we're going to have to start turning people away," Hornacek says.

A crisis they hope the community will help prevent one can at a time.

This marks the 14th year for the Caring Rose Week effort.  Visit for more information and a map of participating florists. 

To donate to Together, visit

To donate to The Food Bank of the Heartland,  visit


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