The gift will triple the organization's current endowment of $5 million, according to Three Square president and CEO Brian Burton. Launched in late 2007, the foodbank rescues surplus and unused food from grocery outlets, purchases food from retailers, and accepts donations of nonperishable items — which it then provides for free or at low cost to more than a thousand partner organizations, including nonprofits, schools, shelters, meal programs, and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) outreach sites.
Since 2008, the Engelstad Family Foundation has awarded a total of $3.7 million to upgrade the foodbank's kitchen, where trained chefs and volunteers prepare nutritional meals, and launch a Summer Food Service Program that has provided more than 680,000 meals to children in need since 2009.
About a hundred and thirty-seven thousand people receive food each month through the foodbank network. "When I think about that number, it gets to me because it’s a huge number," Burton told the Review-Journal, "but I'm also grateful that these agencies are treating all of them with such great dignity and giving them the ability to stabilize their lives."