About Foodnet

 

Foodnet is a 501(c)(3) organization that helps to feed the hungry and stop food waste. All food is donated from grocery stores, restaurants and bakeries, institutions, bottling companies, commercial and local orchards and gardens, etc.    

Foodnet picks up all food items, especially perishable food, and gives that food away.  Because the food is needing to be distributed quickly, we make every effort to give the food away the same day that it is received.  The food items most often donated are  fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread and sweets, and deli items. Occasionally meat and dry goods are donated and given away. When food is received, it is sorted and distributed and non-edible food is given to animals or composted.  Cardboard and other materials are recycled.  

The first Foodnet program was started in 1985 by Frank Marsh (now deceased), Pastor Lincoln Justice and Pastor Gil Visser.  Their purpose at that time was to help the homeless, transients, elderly, and low income people who fall into the cracks of the legal guidelines for getting help, and also to cut down on the number of pounds of food that goes to the landfill. Their motto was "Tummy Fill Not Landfill."  When Foodnet started, there were 5 contributing stores and 15 families receiving food.

As the donations from businesses increased, it was obvious that more help was needed.  Early in 1986, a city wide letter was sent to all church denominations in Lincoln, to inform them about Foodnet and to ask for donations and more involvement.  Fifteen churches attended the first meeting and from this, three churches in Lincoln began an official Foodnet site. They were Lakeview United Methodist Church, Trinity United Methodist Church, and Faith Lutheran.

Today,  there are 2-4 Foodnet sites open every day of the week.  We currently have locations in Lincoln, Crete, Denton, Milford, and Seward.  These communities continue to be very supportive of Foodnet with nearly 100 businesses and organizations donating on a regular basis. Foodnet volunteers actually pick up at more than 300 businesses every week.  Although most pickups are scheduled, Foodnet regularly receives calls from other businesses and organizations for a pick up.  When this happens, our volunteers make every effort to pick up that food within one hour of being contacted.  Without these donations, Foodnet simply would not exist.   In the end, thousands of people in our communities are served every week. 

As it was established, Foodnet continues to be an ALL VOLUNTEER organization. To keep us going, all food, labor, distribution sites, and vehicles for hauling are donated.   We value the donations and know that the food is helping others.  Today, Foodnet has one of the largest networks of volunteers in Lincoln and surrounding communities, with approximately 500 men and women involved with Foodnet.  

To support Foodnet, we rely on the financial donations from the community.  Our expenses include the use of two cell phones (one for the public to call to find a Foodnet distribution site, and another private line for businesses to use for donations), insurance, and containers to repackage prepared food items. 

We certainly marvel at the vision of those who were involved in starting Foodnet more than 30 years ago.  Many communities across our nation are just now realizing the food waste and how that can help people.  Lincoln, Nebraska, has been giving and distributing  for more than 30 years!   We hope to continue these goals in the years to come.

FoodNet Inc. is a 501-C3 non profit corporation

"TUMMY FILL NOT LANDFILL" 
No one in Lincoln, Nebraska should go hungry.


 

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