Join partners from Nebraska and Southwest Iowa to celebrate the launch of “Share Our Table,” a collective effort to address community food insecurity, at the “Share Our Table” Food Summit on June 28. The Summit will be held at Metropolitan Community College South Omaha Campus from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Dr. Craig Gundersen, an ACES Distinguished professor and director of undergrad studies at the University of Illinois, will deliver the keynote address.

“Share Our Table” is the result of a two-year, multi-sector planning process which was convened by United Way of the Midlands and funded by the USDA and Iowa West Foundation. More than 70 partners participated in the process, and together, they developed “Healthy Food for All,” a community food security plan for Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties. From this plan, the partners created “Share Our Table” – a welcoming, uniting and open table that will implement key strategies that align with the plan’s four food security goals. Live Well Omaha has been selected by the “Share Our Table” Leadership Council to serve as the convener for the implementation of the plan.

“The Omaha-Council Bluffs area is home to incredible food pantries, nutrition educators, committed growers and producers, as well as a health care community that is screening for food insecurity. While each of these resources is vital in our food system, it is essential that we are coordinating our work and collaborating on a few, key strategies to truly impact food for all,” said Sarah Sjolie, the CEO of Live Well Omaha. “That’s why Live Well Omaha is honored to convene and connect the coalition in this important work moving forward.”

Attendees at the “Share Our Table” Food Summit will have the opportunity to learn more about the community food security plan, connect with others engaged across the food system and participate in workgroups that are setting community priorities, facilitating alignment of activities and shaping the next steps of “Share Our Table.”

“The summit will be a wonderful opportunity for the broader Omaha-Council Bluffs community to learn from one of the preeminent experts in the field and find ways to participate in making our community a healthier place to live,” said the executive director of The Big Garden, Nathan Morgan, who has been involved with the planning process and currently serves on the Leadership Council of “Share Our Table.”
Mariel Harding, director of community impact – health and food security at United Way of the Midlands, encourages everyone who is interested in food security, nutrition or food systems to attend the Food Summit. Tickets are available for free at www.unitedwaymidlands.org/foodsummit. For more information about the food plan, visit www.unitedwaymidlands.org/food-plan.

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Craig Gundersen

Dr. Gundersen informs policymakers and program administrators who are seeking paths to reduce food insecurity and its consequences. Over 40 million Americans live in food insecure households and, due to serious health consequences, food insecurity has become one of the leading health care crises in the United States. Using data from multiple nationally representative data sets, he analyzes the causes and consequences of food insecurity and evaluates food assistance programs, with a particular emphasis on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
About United Way of the Midlands United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has served the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro for more than 95 years. Guided by best practices and community input, it approaches poverty in a specific way – a “united” way. With the support of volunteers, community partners and donors, UWM invests more than 92 cents of every donated dollar in our local community. These dollars fund 110 nonprofit programs that create a circle of support for people in need. When our neighbors have access to basic needs, education and financial stability supports, they can start down the path to independence and success.

Please visit unitedwaymidlands.org for more information.

About Live Well Omaha

Live Well Omaha is a community health collaborative of member organizations and individuals, serving Cass, Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie Counties, that prioritize health and work together to address the policies, systems and environments that support health for all. For more than 20 years, this multi-sector coalition has supported the health and wellness of the community by convening partners to take collective action.

Download full press release HERE