News Release

Conagra Brands Foundation Sets 1.75 Million Meals Goal For Shine The Light On Hunger Campaign

Holiday Lights Festival

The Capitol District Ice Rink Opens December 6

(OMAHA, Neb.) Nov. 14, 2019 – For the 13th consecutive year, Conagra Brands and Conagra Brands Foundation invite the Omaha community to help “Shine the Light on Hunger” this holiday season from November 14, 2019, through January 3, 2020 in conjunction with the Holiday Lights Festival.

The Shine the Light on Hunger campaign is a rallying call to leaders, businesses and families throughout the local community to raise food, funds and awareness to impact the issue of hunger in the Omaha metropolitan area. Conagra Brands Foundation set an ambitious goal of raising the equivalent of 1.75 million meals to support the hunger relief efforts led by Food Bank for the Heartland, a goal which can and will be achieved with the support of Omaha’s very generous community.

“The Shine the Light on Hunger campaign truly makes a significant difference for families throughout Nebraska and western Iowa,” said Robert Rizzo, Senior Director, Community Investment for Conagra Brands. “As people enjoy Holiday Lights Festival events, they can also help their neighbors for whom consistent access to food is not a given. Shine the Light on Hunger also helps create awareness about the issues of hunger and food insecurity in our community and provides a meaningful way for everyone to take action, whether it be donating a can of food, making a monetary contribution, or skating at the ice rink.”

The outdoor ice rink is an iconic and integral part of Shine the Light on Hunger and is located in The Capitol District at 10th Street and Capitol Avenue. The rink—with a natural water-ice surface—opens Dec. 6, 2019, and runs through Jan. 21, 2020, providing the public with an opportunity to do good while having fun. Admission with skate rental is $10, a portion of which will go to Food Bank for the Heartland. Conagra Brands Foundation will match all skate rental donations and additional funds up to $100,000.

Adding to the fun at the rink throughout the season are musical entertainers, holiday guests including The Grinch, Frozen characters, a skating Santa, special events for kids, and holiday movies. Holiday lights and seasonal music from STAR 104.5 add to the rink’s winter wonderland experience. For more details and a complete schedule of hours, including holiday hours and nearby parking, visit holidaylightsfestival.org/ice-rink or omahaicerink.com.

Festivalgoers can also make donations of nonperishable food at collection barrels located at the ice rink and at the various drop-off sites around town, including all area Baker’s stores. A full list of drop-off sites can be found online at holidaylightsfestival.org.

In addition to hosting food collection barrels, Baker’s Supermarkets encourages the community to “Shine the Light on Hunger” and donate funds at each of its Omaha-area stores. From Nov. 14, 2019, to Jan. 3, 2020, Baker’s sells $1 paper light bulbs that customers can purchase, sign and post in each store to donate to the campaign. From Nov. 20, 2019 to Jan. 3, 2020, Baker’s will also be selling specially marked Zero Hunger Zero Waste boxes for $5 and $10 that customers can purchase in addition to the bulbs. Lastly, customers can donate spare change, or make additional contributions at the register. Furthermore, Baker’s Supermarkets has generously pledged $20,000 to match customer donations made to Shine the Light on Hunger at checkout. All proceeds will go to Food Bank for the Heartland.

Tackling the issue of hunger is a collective effort, and leading organizations in the community are pitching in to raise awareness through a communitywide canned food drive by hosting collection barrels. More than 25,000 children in Douglas County, 111,000 children in Iowa, and 82,000 children across Nebraska live with hunger every day, according to Map the Meal Gap 2019. Through donations, the community can help ensure children and their families have access to healthy and nutritious food this holiday season.

The Shine the Light on Hunger campaign reinforces the significant commitment by Conagra Brands and Conagra Brands Foundation to improve the quality of life for millions of families by taking action to impact the issue of hunger. Taking a year-round approach with nonprofit partners across the U.S., Conagra Brands contributes funds, donates food, engages its employees as volunteers, and helps raise awareness to mobilize the public to support food and meal programs for people when they need it most.

For more information visit www.holidaylightsfestival.org and click on the “Shine the Light on Hunger” tab.

The Holiday Lights Festival is produced by Mayor Jean Stothert and the Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation, with media sponsors KETV Channel 7 and STAR 104.5.

About Holiday Lights Festival
The idea of decorating Omaha with holiday lights had been discussed by downtown advocates for many years. The occasion of the millennium provided the impetus for the project. In 1999, a coalition of city officials, corporations and foundations chose to present a legacy gift of holiday lights to the City of Omaha as the Millennium Lights celebration. That first year, more than 60,000 people came downtown to witness the lighting ceremony. Because the lights were so well received by the public, the Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation was established the following year to continue Millennium Lights as the Holiday Lights Festival. The Shine the Light on Hunger campaign, sponsored by Conagra Brands Foundation and in partnership with Food Bank for the Heartland, was added to the Holiday Lights Festival in 2007.

About Conagra Brands Foundation
Conagra Brands Foundation believes everyone has a right to healthy and nutritious food, while recognizing that food insecurity exists in every U.S. county. The Foundation partners with exceptional national and local nonprofits with high-impact programs located in the communities where we live and work. By focusing our efforts within five areas: Direct Food Access, Cooking Skills, Nutrition Education, Healthy and Active Lifestyles and Urban Agriculture, we are able to be a leader in the fight against food insecurity in North America.

About Food Bank for the Heartland (a member of Feeding America)
Food Bank for the Heartland is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Omaha, Neb., that acts as a central clearinghouse distributing emergency and supplemental food to nearly 600 network partners across 77 counties in Nebraska and 16 counties in western Iowa. Food Bank for the Heartland provided more than 22 million meals in FY 2019, helping thousands of children, families, seniors, veterans and others in need. For more information, visit www.FoodBankHeartland.org.

About The Capitol District
The Capitol District is a destination dining and entertainment district in Downtown Omaha that surrounds a modern town square known as The Plaza. Located between 10th Street and 12th Street, and Capitol Avenue and Davenport Street, The Capitol District includes diverse restaurants, bars, and services as well as a full-service Marriott hotel with ballroom and meeting services, the 218-unit high rise Capitol District Apartments, Class A office space, and plenty of parking. The Capitol District is within walking distance of Omaha’s best civic, cultural, and entertainment venues and the Riverfront. For more information visit www.capitoldistrictomaha.com

Media Contact:
Kylie Vonnahme, Vic Gutman & Associates: (402) 345-5401 ext. 117, kvonnahme@vgagroup.com