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COVID-19 Response

NMEP COVID-19 UPDATES

October 12 Update: No More Empty Pots will suspend operations and implement a break for staff October 19 - 25.

From Monday, October 19 afternoon through Saturday, October 24, No More Empty Pots will suspend operations and implement a break for staff.

This pause in programming for No More Empty Pots’ is meant to accomplish two things: 1) provide an opportunity for rest and regrouping and 2) provide an opportunity for equipment maintenance and installation. After 6 months of continuous service at a level nine times greater than service in March, we believe that we will maintain and improve safety and service by bringing our whole selves, rested and rejuvenated to this important work. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • All volunteer shifts and program activities will be paused with the exception of Commercial Kitchen Rental and the Culinary Certificate Program.
  • Community Harvest and Feeding Our Neighbors meal and CSA distribution programs will pause from production, packaging and distribution, October 19 – October 25, resuming operations on October 26.
  • Meal recipients will receive double meals and increased CSA the week of October 12.
  • If you are a partner organization that receives bulk orders, please let us know if you’d like to double your meals or if you can’t store double the amount and will drop your order for that week.
  • All programs and services will resume as scheduled on Monday, October 26.

WHO TO CONTACT

  • For Community Harvest or Feeding Our Neighbors: communityharvest@nmepomaha.org or 402.690.0888. All responses will be delayed between October 20 and October 25, 2020.
  • For additional food and services, please call United Way of the Midlands at 211 at anytime.
  • For all other questions: Nancy Williams at info@nmepomaha.org

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve and grateful for the support that allows us to take a break while ensuring that our neighbors are cared for.

With immense gratitude, thank you!

Update as of August 5: Food Hub and Administrative Offices Reopened

On Wednesday, August 5, No More Empty Pots reopened the hub and administrative office after cleaning and sanitation was completed on Tuesday.
 
NMEP is following CDC guidelines and info from the DCHD website
 
NMEP is implementing a process of reactivating cards after receipt of a negative test result and review of safety protocols and expectations. Signage has been updated to be clear and concise. Accountability measures are updated.  So far 11 staff have been cleared to return to the hub and office. 
 
NMEP will continue meals and produce delivery/pickup service this week. NMEP is purchasing meals from local restaurants: Big Mama’s Kitchen & Catering, Lean MEals, and Okra African Grill to fill the gap of meals not prepared by staff this week. Our staff and delivery partners, Whispering Roots, Together, Inc, and Intercultural Senior Center will deliver meals to program participants this week. Lone Tree Foods will deliver USDA Farm to Families local foods boxes.
 
Meals and produce pickups will continue on Friday and Saturday. Any changes will be posted here and sent directly to participants.

Update as of August 2: Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Case at NMEP

On August 2, 2020, No More Empty Pots confirmed a positive COVID-19 case of a staff member. We have suspended activities and all access to the food hub and admin building until the cleaning and sanitation that is already in progress is complete.

The chances of transmission are low with mask wearing and distancing in the hub but we are taking the most extreme precaution and requiring testing for our staff.

Meal deliveries may be suspended this week. We are exploring alternatives to deliver the meals already prepared and frozen as well as alternatives to providing more meals to meet the current need. We will confirm with everyone no later than Thursday.

There is currently no evidence of transmission through food and food packaging (see FDA response below).

We are following FDA and Douglas County Health Department guidelines on food service. NMEP maintains clean and sanitized work spaces. From FDA about packaged food:

Do I need to recall food products produced in the facility during the time that the worker was potentially shedding virus while working? (Posted March 17, 2020)

    • We do not anticipate that food products would need to be recalled or be withdrawn from the market because of COVID-19, as there is currently no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food or food packaging.
    • Additionally, facilities are required to control any risks that might be associated with workers who are ill regardless of the type of virus or bacteria. For example, facilities are required to maintain clean and sanitized facilities and food contact surfaces.

Update as of June 1: In Person Programming Suspended Until Further Notice

We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 guidelines presented by state officials and the CDC. During this time, we are continuing to communicate with partners and the community to provide emergency food relief where needed. Virtual programming activities for community engagement and education will be available.  Visit our event page on Facebook and Eventbrite for details.

Update as of April 10: Programs Suspended Through May 31

We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 guidelines presented by state officials and the CDC. During this time, we are continuing to communicate with partners and the community to provide emergency food relief where needed. All regular programming, including Cups Café will continue to be suspended through May 31st. 

Update as of March 25: Emergency Food Relief Available

No More Empty Pots has initiated emergency response to urgent community needs for food relief. We’ve partnered with local producers, businesses, community organizations and volunteers to meet the demand with available resources. If you or someone you know is in need of immediate food support, complete the Feeding Our Neighbors registration form.

Update as of March 14: Programs Suspended Through April 30

In consideration of growing public health concerns following the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), No More Empty Pots, including Cups Cafe, is SUSPENDING ALL PROGRAMMING beginning tomorrow, Saturday, March 14 until Thursday, April 30, 2020.

We are closely monitoring and communicating with partners and other community stakeholders. We are in contact with schools, pantries and other partners to support students and families who are impacted by schools closing and may be food insecure. We will share updates through email, our website, social media channels and phone calls.

Because we are a food serving institution, we take food safety and sanitation seriously and take precautions to keep patrons and staff safe with excellent sanitation practices. We have since stepped up those practices to ensure safety and sanitation at even higher levels.
 
Each staff is taking precautions to ensure that they are not reporting to work if sick and to seek medical attention. We implemented PTO (Paid Time Off) for all staff this year, including part-time, so that no one will lose pay because of being sick or having regular work suspended. Team leaders have identified remote work for their teams to continue preparing for programming and providing services in the coming weeks. We have issued computers to all staff that would normally not have one issued to them during their regular work day. 

NMEP staff and stakeholders are meeting using remote tools and technology. We will continue to provide meal distribution services for clients that have enrolled in Community Harvest during this time. We are providing meal delivery for any clients that request it.

Here are links that have been shared by other community partners that might be helpful: 

Coronavirus info (multiple languages)
CDC 
Douglas County Health Department: Coronavirus page

We will keep you posted. If there is anything that you identify as a need please contact us and we will do our best to support the need in these uncertain times.

Thank you for your support!

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