About Us

About FoodNet

Foodnet is a group of volunteers from many different churches and non-profit organizations, trying to STOP the waste of food, and MEET all human needs. Especially those who are trying on their own to provide food for their families, but because of hardships, such as layoffs, sickness, car problems and other unexpected catastrophes, their paychecks are smaller and money for food is less.

Foodnet provides mostly perishable foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread, etc. to all needy families.

The first Foodnet program was started by Frank Marsh (now deceased), Pastor Lincoln Justice and Pastor Gil Visser in 1985. Their purpose at that time was to help all 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 garbage that goes to the landfill. Their motto was “Tummy Fill Not Landfill.” More than 35 years later, that is still the purpose of Foodnet and still our motto. However, we have grown to a much larger organization than the 5 contributing stores and 15 receiving families of the first Foodnet.

In February 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 from the different churches. 15 different churches attended the first meeting and from this meeting, 3 churches began an official Foodnet site. They were Lakeview UMC, Trinity UMC and Faith Lutheran.

Today, Foodnet is an ALL VOLUNTEER organization that receives NO government support of any kind. To keep our organization going, all food, labor, distribution sites and vehicles for hauling are donated. We feed over 1000 families each week through 18 different distribution sites in and around the Lincoln area. Most of these sites are in churches or community centers. The expenses for Foodnet, Inc. are minimal but we do have the cost of two cell phones that are used for receiving calls from businesses and the public. We also help sites purchase new bags and containers for prepared food items and a few other basic supplies to run the non-profit organization. When we receive financial donations, we occasionally offer gift certificates for gas as our volunteers otherwise donate their vehicles for Foodnet use. We have open distribution sites at different locations and times every day of the week and ALL HOLIDAYS except Christmas Day. Because we are all volunteers, we pick up from businesses on holidays and snow days. We have over 580 total volunteers and over 100 businesses that donate their products to us.

Please help us to keep alive the dreams of Frank Marsh, Pastor Lincoln Justice and Pastor Gil Visser.

FoodNet Inc. is a 501-C3 non profit corporation

No one in Lincoln, Nebraska should go hungry.

The Emerson Act

The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act (Federal Legislation)

What sort of food is protected?
The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (the “Emerson Act”) provides protection for food and grocery products that meet all quality and labeling standards imposed by Federal, State and local laws and regulations even though the food or product may not be “readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus or other conditions.”

Food may include any “raw, cooked processed or prepared edible substance, ice, beverage or ingredient” used or intended for use by humans. Grocery products can include nonfood products, including “disposable paper or plastic products, household cleaning products, laundry detergent, cleaning products or miscellaneous household items.” There are also provisions to deal with food and products that do not meet quality and labeling requirements of Federal, State and Local laws. The National law has received widespread bi-partisan in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both legislative bodies passed the bill by unanimous consent. Furthermore, the Emerson Act moves the Good Samaritan Law from the National and Community Service Act of 1990 to the Childhood Nutrition Act of 1996.

Who is protected?
The national legislation protects food donors, including individuals, and non-profit feeding programs who act in good faith. While exceptions are noted for gross negligence, the law states that these groups will not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the “nature, age, packaging or condition of apparently wholesome food or an apparently fit grocery product…”

How does the law improve on the state laws already in place?
The national legislation replaces all state laws, including those in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and all U.S. territories and possessions. Under the National law, food donors need only seek protection under one law. This should save significant time and resources on the donor’s behalf and simplify the entire donation process.

How does the national law compare to state laws?
The Emerson Act has actually existed as a model for state laws since 1990 when it was placed in the National and Community Service Act of 1990, although it did not carry Bill Emerson’s name until 1996. While state laws have never been tested in courts, and food-rescue programs have worked hard to prevent even a single case of food-borne illness, the national law is broader and simpler to apply.
FoodNet Inc. is a 501-C3 non profit corporation

No one in Lincoln, Nebraska should go hungry.