Did you know?
- In our community, one in five children goes to bed hungry every night.
- More than 75,000 people in Douglas County are food insecure.
- 17 percent of those in our community struggle to find affordable, fresh produce.
- 40 percent of all food produced in the United States is wasted.
- Food is the largest contributor to landfill waste in Omaha.
Many of our patients are struggling with hunger. OneWorld’s Associate Medical Director of Women’s Health, Courtney Allen Cowardin, CNM, decided that seeing patients go without food was not acceptable, so she teamed up with Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue, a local nonprofit that delivers excess perishable food to nonprofits that feed the hungry.
“My inspiration was talking to patients and having them tell me that they had food insecurity or that they were hungry and their kids were hungry,” she said. “When the HyVee closed up the street from OneWorld, that was another source of produce and fresh food that was gone from the neighborhood.”
Since its inception in October 2013, Saving Grace has rescued and redistributed more than 1.5 million pounds of donated perishable food. The food they distribute is all safe and edible, but the food vendors are not able to sell it because it might not look perfect or it is nearing its expiration date.
“The food is perfectly good—it just doesn’t look pretty,” Allen Cowardin said. “We have people who need food, so let’s give it to them.”
OneWorld is proud to be one Saving Grace’s newest distributing partners. If OneWorld patients are identified in their appointments as having nutritional needs, clinic staff members are now able to give them vouchers for a bag of food. When those patients come back to the Women’s Health Center (the south tower of the Livestock Exchange Building) on Friday afternoons, volunteers greet them and give them pre-packed bags of groceries.
In its first week, OneWorld’s Friday food pantry gave away about 50 bags of food, which included healthy selections like fruit, vegetables, milk and bread. Since then, about 50 bags have been given out every week to patients struggling with food insecurity.
Learn more about Saving Grace at www.SavingGraceFoodRescue.org.