Diocesan News

MTKO celebrates 25th anniversary

Compassion in Action award winners recognized at ‘Feeding the Soul of the City’

LINCOLN (SNR) - Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach hosted the 13th annual “Feeding the Soul of the City” dinner and fundraising event March 22 at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel. 

Because of the generosity of 48 corporate and individual sponsors, the 335 guests who attended, and the many who gave donations prior to the event, Matt Talbot raised a gross amount of approximately $140,000.

Money raised will support the day-to-day hunger relief and homeless prevention services of the community kitchen and outreach center.

“This is a special year for us as we celebrate our 25th anniversary,” said Susanne Blue, executive director. “We are honored to have volunteers, corporate partners, agency collaborators and community members either support or come to this event to celebrate our collective efforts to defeat hunger and homelessness in Lincoln.”

Greg Ernst, who received a “Compassion in Action” award from Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach at the March 22 “Feeding the Soul of the City” dinner is pictured with Susanne Blue, MTKO executive director. Photo courtesy Jennifer Heywood

“Compassion in Action” awards were presented to Greg Ernst, Food Bank of Lincoln and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – Children and Family Services Division collaborative SNAP Outreach Program. 

Ernst, the immediate past president of the board, is currently serving his seventh year on the board. Blue said he is a longtime donor, led the Bold Hope Building Expansion campaign last year, is encouraging to the staff and has a true heart for the homeless. 

The Food Bank and DHHS come to Matt Talbot and work together in the dining room to help hundreds of individuals each year receive SNAP benefits (food stamps) and other economic support services. The partnership between the two agencies—who Blue said serve with a spirit of help, hope and compassion—creates effective and efficient outreach to better serve the guests of Matt Talbot.

“With limited resources it is critical that human services agencies from the public and private sectors work together to find ways to meet the needs of the underserved in our community,” said Blue. “Honoring our partners with Compassion in Action Awards is one of my favorite things to do.  The only way to truly meet the needs of the homeless is to work together to find solutions.” 

Serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach is a hunger relief and outreach center for those in need. Annually Matt Talbot provides more than 100,000 nutritious meals to the hungry in Lincoln and more than 35,000 homeless prevention services such as housing, drug and alcohol evaluations, life skills classes, nutrition counseling, and help with obtaining identification documents. More information is available at www.mtko.org.

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