Summer Updates | Blues & Barbecue

It has been a busy and productive summer for No More Empty Pots. Thank you to everyone who has supported us through donations, volunteering, and sharing your expertise. We cannot do this work without you.

I also invite you to our first public fundraiser: Blues & Barbecue. It will be a fun time with an interactive art project, live music by BluesEd band- Highway 61, great food from Justin & M’s Pub, and locally crafted beer from Brickway Brewery and Distillery. Truck Farm Omaha will be there and first 50 registrants get a chance to win two Husker tickets. Get your tickets! All proceeds go to support programs of No More Empty Pots and will be used as matching funds for our challenge grants.

Quick funding updates:

  • NMEP awarded operations challenge grant from Peter Kiewit Foundation. We are really close to closing that gap. Only $120,000 left. All donations go towards closing that gap to fund programs that connect more people to local, healthy affordable food and jobs. Foundations and donors matching that challenge: Sherwood Foundation, Mammel Foundation, Lozier Foundation, Omaha Gives! 2015
  • NMEP awarded following federal grants:
    • USDA Local Foods Promotion Program (2014 and implemented 2015) for food hub equipment; began equipment purchase: stacked convection ovens and steam jacketed kettle.
    • USDA FINI through Wholesome Wave for local fruits and vegetables match  to SNAP recipients (3 years starting 2015; to reach 33 more families)
  • NMEP awarded capital challenge grant of $250,000 from Peter Kiewit Foundation for Phase 1 of the Collaborative Community Centered Food Hub. Currently at 45% of Phase 1 goal of $1.5MM. All funding for food hub received until December 2015 will be used as a match.
  • NMEP awarded funding from United Way for Collaborative Community Centered Food Hub for 2015-2016 program year.
  • First gala and collaborative fundraiser: Fabric of Local Foods; collaboration with Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society and guest speaker, Robert Egger of LA Kitchen and formerly DC Central Kitchen. Save the Date: November 1 at Metropolitan Community College Swanson Center. Sponsorships available. Contact or 402.502.1642.

Quick programming updates:

  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) with 360 Food Exchange: biggest summer to date with 63 weekly shares for 15 weeks with bag deliveries to six different locations, including Council Bluffs;  kicked off fall CSA in September with over 20 shares.
  • Community Gardens: Second season with North Omaha Intergenerational Human Services Campus Senior  Garden partnering with Holy Name Housing and Heartland Family Service; first season with Florence Community Garden partnering with Omaha Public Library – Florence Branch, Universal College of Healing Arts, Crayon Castle Daycare, and USDA NRCS local office; surpassed 1,000 lbs of produce harvested this season. Volunteer Schedule here.
  • Truck Farm Omaha: Chelsea Taxman handed reins of Truck Farm Omaha over to Elle Lynch in August and TFO added another educator, Pearl Boyd.
  • No More Empty Cups: Check out the newest addition to No More Empty Pots. As we grow and develop this nonprofit coffee shop as an inclusive community space, we are even more excited for the future plans serving as an apprenticeship and incubator for baristas and coffee shop owners. We have meeting space available too; come check it out.
  • Project Localize: Partnership with Lexicon of Sustainability, Fontenelle Elementary – engage youth in sharing local food stories through art and highlighting community engagement with their school garden.

We do this work because the food that we eat matters. And it has a huge impact on our health and the economic development of our community. Thank you for taking this journey with us.

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