For the 3rd year, Burton’s customers can donate 5 cans of food and receive a furnace safety inspection and cleaning for just $55 dollars all month long.

For 40 years, Food Bank for the Heartland has played a critical role in providing nutritious food to our food-insecure neighbors in Nebraska and western Iowa. Along with its 610 network partners, the non-profit often makes a critical difference for thousands of hungry families, who sometimes have to choose between medicine or rent, and feeding loved ones.

In honor of Burton’s 3rd year of partnership with Food Bank for Hunger Action Month, we sat down with the organization to talk about the month-long event, the hunger shockwave left by the pandemic, and how our customers and community can help their neighbors stay nourished.

First of all: What is Hunger Action Month?

Hunger Action Month was created by Feeding America — the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, comprising 200 food banks across the country. For the month of September, people stand together across America to fight the nation’s hunger crisis and are encouraged to get creative with solutions, like setting up Facebook fundraisers, making coffee at home and donating “coffee-out” money, or participating in Burton’s $55 and 5 campaign, a program in which customers donate 5 cans of food and receive a furnace safety inspection and cleaning for just $55. There are lots of ideas — just visit our website to get inspired!

Food Bank for the Heartland has been helping families in Nebraska and western Iowa for 40 years. What is different about people’s needs now?

One word: Coronavirus. The pandemic saw thousands of families seek food assistance for the first time. Since March 15, 2020, Food Bank for the Heartland’s team has worked to provide more than 38 million meals — an 89% increase over the average of the previous four years, thanks to its amazing network partners and hard-working volunteers (who donated nearly 30,000 hours helping Heartland families receive emergency meals.) These are incredibly generous people and organizations who step up to the plate when our community needs it most. It truly “takes a village” to do what we do.

The hunger crisis in this country sometimes seems insurmountable. What can just a “regular person” do?

As far as the Food Bank is concerned, we don’t know any “regular people”, only extraordinary ones. There are the obvious things you can do, like donating money or food, or by becoming a volunteer. But there are also things like talking to your children about hunger in America or organizing a “protein” food drive, which is always a “much-needed macro” at food banks around the country. Any little thing moves the ball forward, which is what Hunger Action Month is all about.

As Margaret Mead once said:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Ready to participate? Sign up for your $55 and 5 furnace safety inspection and cleaning now—and get your cans ready!