Food is our fuel; it’s comfort. In fact, sharing food together is how we connect with our family, friends, colleagues and neighbors. In the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area, nearly 101,000 people (12.5%) do not consistently know where their next meal will come from.
To address this issue, more than 70 partners from across the three county Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area came together to produce “Healthy Food for All – A Community Food Security Plan for Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie Counties. From this plan, “Share Our Table” was created by the partners as a welcoming, uniting, and open table to leverage strengths for shared action – across the region implement key strategies in the plan that address food security with focus on four goals identified in the plan.
On May 8, 2019 Live Well Omaha accepted the role of convener of this incredible effort and was selected by its Leadership Council. “The Omaha – Council Bluffs area is home to incredible food pantries, nutrition educators, committed growers and producers, as well as a health care community that is screening for food insecurity, etc. While each of these resources is vital in our food system, it is essential that we are coordinating our work and collaborating on a few, key strategies to truly impact food for all,” Sarah Sjolie, CEO, Live Well Omaha. “That’s why Live Well Omaha is honored to convene and connect the coalition in this important work moving forward.”
You are invited to join partners from Nebraska and Iowa to celebrate the launch of this collective effort to address community food insecurity, at the “Share Our Table” Food Summit on June 28, 2019. The Food Summit will be held at the Metropolitan Community College South Omaha Campus from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Dr. Craig Gunderson, an ACES Distinguished Professor and Director of Undergrad Studies at the University of Illinois, will deliver the keynote address.
“Food insecurity is too big of a problem for any one organization to address alone. That’s why we are so excited to be a part of Share Our Table. The summit will be a wonderful opportunity for the broader Omaha – Council Bluffs community to learn from one of the preeminent experts in the field and find ways to participate in making our community a healthier place to live,” shared Executive Director of The Big Garden, Nathan Morgan, and Share Our Table leader.
“This summit will be a great opportunity for people working on issues related to food security to learn about the plan, network with others working on similar issues, and most importantly engage with Share Our Table to shape the next steps and priorities of the collaborative effort,” said Mariel Harding, Director, Community Impact – Health and Food Security of United Way of the Midlands. “Everyone who is interested in food security, nutrition, or food systems is encouraged to attend.”
Live Well Omaha would like to recognize the following people for their hard work on Share Our Table:
Mariel Harding, United Way of the Midlands
Craig Howell, Alliance for Better Omaha
Kerry Kernen, Douglas County Health Department
Mike Kraus, Nebraska Methodist Health System
Megan McGuffey, University of Nebraska- Omaha
Nathan Morgan, The Big Garden
Joanna Murray, United Way of the Midlands
Clarrissa Newman, Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus
Susan Ogborn, Food Bank of the Heartland (retired)
Charles Peterson, United Way of the Midlands
John Porter, UNL Extension
Sarah Schram, Sarpy/Cass Health Department
Lisa Smith, City of Omaha
Jeff Spiehs, Metro Area Planning Agency
Lisa Stewart, Council Bluffs Community Schools
Albert Varas, Latino Center of the Midlands
Kenya Walker, Baker’s Supermarkets
Nancy Williams, No More Empty Pots
Roxanne Williams/Draper, City Sprouts