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Helping Fight Hunger in the Heartland

Driving past Nebraska’s bountiful fields of corn and soybeans or pastures of cattle, it is easy to assume food is readily available in the U.S. Heartland. However, nearly 16 percent of Nebraskans reported at least one time in the past 12 months when they did not have enough money to buy food that they or their family needed, according to the Food Bank of the Heartland. In addition, about 20 percent of children in Nebraska and western Iowa are at risk for hunger.

Addressing these food scarcity issues at home has become a priority for DuPont Pioneer employees in Nebraska. They’ve taken multiple approaches to support programs both statewide and in local communities.

In November 2013, radio listeners across the state heard a public service announcement recorded by Pioneer employees highlighting food insecurity issues and promoting the Food Bank of the Heartland. Listen to the public service announcement (.mp4 | 00:30) and view a brochure. (PDF 6 MB)

The team also used the Pioneer booth at the 2013 Husker Harvest Days, the state’s highest-attended farm show, to deliver messages about food insecurity in the state and rural areas.

"Husker Harvest Days was a great opportunity to tell the story to our farmer customers,” said Mat Habrock, DuPont Pioneer Communications manager. “We distributed brochures about Food Bank for the Heartland at our booth and also donated one dollar to the food bank for every meal that we served our customers."

Pioneer’s donation of one dollar per customer meal totaled $2,620 from Husker Harvest Days. The Food Bank of the Heartland will be able to provide three meals for every dollar donated, which will feed more than 7,800 Nebraskans in need.

"We are grateful for the support of DuPont Pioneer," said Brian Barks, director of Development and Public Relations with the Food Bank. "DuPont Pioneer is not only helping us feed hungry families in Nebraska, they’re helping us raise awareness to the serious issue of hunger we have in our state. Over 211,000 people in the 93 counties served by the Food Bank in Nebraska and western Iowa are at-risk for hunger. Over half live in rural communities."

Pioneer employees and sales representatives are also working in their own communities to identify and support programs to help neighbors in need. In 2013, more than $12,000 in donations were provided to local Meals on Wheels, food pantry and Back Pack programs in communities across the state.

"Providing support to individual programs in communities and rural areas gives our local Pioneer teams the opportunity to give back to their friends and neighbors," said Habrock.

Programs in Nebraska that received support from the Pioneer Giving program in 2013 included Meals on Wheel programs in Auburn and Crete, school backpack programs in Milford, Edgar, and Wayne, and other food pantry or feeding programs in Auburn, Columbus, Lincoln, and Valentine.

The Pioneer Community Giving program provides grants to communities where our employees and customers live and work, with each grant focused on that community’s specific need. For more information about the Giving Program, visit www.pioneer.com, or contact your local Pioneer sales professional for information.