Local organization collects fresh produce to donate to Lincoln food banks


A UNL professor runs produce from the heart, a Lincoln-based organization that focuses on gathering leftover fresh produce. That produce goes directly to local food banks to help people in need. On Monday, the organization did just that, making multiple stops to give away fresh potatoes.

 “We throw away enough just fresh produce in Nebraska to fill  up memorial stadium 4 to 7 times every year,” said Mike SHAMBAUGH-MILLER. EXEC DIRECTOR OF PRODUCE FROM THE HEART.

SHAMBAUGH-MILLER is working to change that by giving leftover produce to food banks, programs and churches around the capital city.

He gets the produce from local farmers who have leftovers after sales.

SHAMBAUGH-MILLER adds that saving fresh produce that would have been thrown away saves money and reduces the amount of methane gas the waste would emit.

“Its a win–win not to throw it away,” said SHAMBAUGH-MILLER. “We feed people we help the environment we save tax dollars we save industrial dollars. So that’s why we should do it.”

The professor dropped off fresh potatoes to the UNL food pantry, Huskers Helping Huskers.

A student says at one time she received help from food pantries so she is inspired to give back.

“I was homeless for a week and for about two months, we didn’t have food me and my family,” said Rosemary ONYANGO, a UNL SOPHoMORE. “So my dad would go to food pantries to get food living from that perspective and coming out of it and knowing what it looks like, you have to help.”

A graduate student who works at the pantry says it really helps huskers in a pinch.

“I know we probably see around 100 to 200 students a week, especially with students who have financial aid that runs out toward the end of the semester so that helps a lot,” said KATIE PETERSEN, GRADUATE ASSISTANT FOR HUSKER PANTRY.

For more information about volunteering or donating to produce from the heart visit the website, https://producefromtheheart.org/

To donate to the Huskers Helping Huskers, visit https://pantry.unl.edu/welcome#donate


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