The Charles B. Washington Public Library in North Omaha serves as a gathering place of hope, education and positive engagement despite the myriad of struggles that families experience related to poverty. One of those struggles often includes having knowledge of and access to healthy food. No More Empty Pots recognized this need and now provides cooking demonstrations there for the community. This month, the menu included a simple broccoli salad, watermelon salsa and a watermelon cooler drink. Slowly a few families trickled in to watch the demonstration. What stood out were three young girls, Shawna, Maria and Ashley, who walked in all by themselves without any parents. Wide-eyed, the girls watched the demonstration with curiosity and were eager to learn more.
We didn’t expect them to be experiencing fresh foods for the first time. When we offered samples of the ingredients, the girls didn’t hesitate to try. Shawna said she had never had a fresh cucumber, Maria had never had as fresh tomato and Ashley had never eaten fresh broccoli. At the end of the demonstration, those young girls packed every piece of food that was left to take home. Supporting this challenge means supporting not only food education for youth in our community but food access. Shawna, Maria and Ashley can share what they’ve learned with their families. Families who could then use this knowledge to save money, eat healthier and live better.
The Challenge Continues
In July, Peter Kiewit Foundation awarded a $100,000 operating challenge grant to No More Empty Pots. To receive the full $100,000, No More Empty Pots must raise an additional $160,000 by October 31. Meeting this challenge goal will continue and expand programs and services for youth in our community. With your support, No More Empty Pots can do more cooking demos and reach more people. With your support, we can provide activities and services that empower kids like Shawna, Maria and Ashley at the library to be curious about food. When they eat better, they are healthier and do better in school. Meeting this challenge means creating ripple effects of opportunity in our community.