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Seven years after food summit, community collaboration delivers commissary kitchen

On February 22, 2017, nearly seven years to the date of the first food summit in 2010, No More Empty Pots received the permit from Douglas County Health Department to become a licensed commercial commissary kitchen.

How it all began: On February 27, 2010 about 40 community members attended a food summit at Family Housing Advisory Services at 24th and Lake Streets in Omaha. Check out the agenda from that day featuring favorites like Minne Lusa Canning Company.

From that February summit, community participants chose two major initiatives:  1) support for urban agriculture and 2) a shared use commercial (commissary) kitchen. Read the summary notes here. For the next eight months community stakeholders met to determine gaps in our food system, map community needs and resources, and develop collaborations. Those meetings resulted in a second summit in November 2010: A Blueprint for the Harvest, where the goal was to educate, facilitate economic development opportunities, inspire, and create plans of action to improve food security. Check out the schedule for the November summit. In 2010 No More Empty Pots received 501c3 designation.

For the next three years, with the input of many people in community meetings and information sessions we crafted a strategic plan and researched models of success for implementation. In 2014 through the generous support of local foundations, No More Empty Pots purchased three buildings. Two of the buildings would undergo an adaptive reuse renovation to become the Collaborative Community Centered Food Hub.

With the shared use commercial kitchen and the production/training kitchen completed in Phase 1 of the renovation, planning for Phase 2 including a cafe, business incubator, kids’ kitchen and rooftop garden is underway. To learn more about what is in the food hub, click here for the infographic.

 

To rent the kitchen, complete the survey. For a tour and to request more information by sending an email to info@www.nmepomaha.org.

 

 

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