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Seniors Moving From Food Support to Self-Sufficiency

ince April of 2020, NMEP has partnered with Intercultural Senior Center (ISC) to provide emergency food relief through Feeding Our Neighbors. Each week, seniors at ISC receive 300 locally sourced meals prepared at the NMEP Food Hub. The ISC is a community center in Omaha, serving seniors 50 and older from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. ISC members speak more than 10 languages.

According to ISC, seniors in the community have physical and mental health, education, and legal needs that often go unmet. Among these needs is improved access to nutritious food. The pandemic has compounded the barriers of mobility, transportation, and isolation that make getting nutritious food difficult.

NMEP expanded its partnership with ISC in January, 2021, by launching a series of new workshops focused on optimizing seniors’ time and resources spent on purchasing and preparing food. Each workshop highlights a unique area of nutrition vital for good health and provides a hands-on cooking demonstration for participants. The goal of the series is to increase seniors’ self-sufficiency and knowledge of nutrition.

Leslie Schmeling, NMEP Community Education Manager, holds a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and serves as the lead workshop instructor.

In the first workshop, a participant learned how to lower her blood pressure through dietary changes like adjusting the sodium level in common recipe ingredients. She was eager to try-out the workshop’s recommended recipes and ingredient substitutions in her own home.

We are hopeful that each workshop provides access to resources, while building participants’ confidence in selecting ingredients, improving cooking techniques and choosing options that lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Get Local Foods Delivered to You Weekly

We believe eating healthy, local and fresh should be easily accessible for all. Through Community Harvest, market price for meals is currently $5 and CSA’s are $20 or you can participate through our Pay What You Can Model. Every food distribution contains educational resources like recipes or tips on growing and cooking with local produce.

Become a New Partner in Community Education

The NMEP Community Education team provides hands-on, community-responsive programming for youth, adults, and seniors. If you are interested in scheduling a workshop related to gardening, culinary, or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) education, connect with our team members.

Support a thriving community of neighbors coming together to support each other by signing up for needed volunteer shifts in 2021. You’ll serve in a hands-on role to help prepare, package and deliver meals and produce kits for families and individuals in the community. If you are healthy and able to join us in this effort, shifts are available Monday to Friday!

What to Expect

  • The safety of our volunteers and staff remain our top priority.
  • Expect sanitation and social distancing. PPE is provided and required.
  • Assist us with preparing nutritious foods, packaging meals, or processing produce.
  • All levels of experience welcome. Get involved however you are most comfortable.

O’tillie, butcher shop, first started renting space at the Food Hub 2 years ago. This January, owner Jared officially moved his business to Lincoln, NE, to move into a new storefront location. We wish Jared continued success with O’tillie in this new chapter! As with all of our food entrepreneurs, the goal is always growth and expansion!

See our collection of local food agencies, programs, restaurants, and producers available to families and individuals in the Greater Omaha community.

What You'll Find

  • Resources for urgent food relief and other community services including pantry locations and hours and emergency helplines.
  • Opportunities to support local producers and growers.
  • Take-out, curbside, and delivery options from small, local food businesses.

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