Community Action and the Lincoln Food Bank presented their brand new kitchen through the unveiling of the Healthy Food Access Program.

The 5,000 square foot kitchen will bring more access to healthy food for Lincoln's most vulnerable populations and has a goal to make more than 200,000 hot, healthy meals this year. 

"A year ago we began meeting about this project and we wrote at the top of the paper we're going to try to provide 100,000 healthy meals to kids and families in the next year, and at that time we thought this was a crazy audacious goal. But today, we announced that it will be 200,000," said Community Health Endowment CEO Lori Seibel.

The meals will be available at Community Action's Head Start centers, as well as at 42 locations in Lincoln, including early childhood development centers. 

"We're beginning with our youngest citizens because we know that most of our brain development happens before we turn 3 years of age, so we want them to not only have the opportunity to not only on a daily basis have fresh and nutritious meals, but we want them to have the opportunity to experience and learn to love vegetables and fruits like mangoes, turnips and beets," said Community Action Executive Director Vi See.

Healthy food is essential to young human development and through this program, the community has come together to provide that essential nutrition.

"When you think about how food impacts kids, their health, their behavior, really changing that and creating a movement that's separate from that, that's not going to be the work of one person," said Seibel.

The Healthy Food Access Program is spearheaded by Lincoln Community Health Endowment, as well as UNL's Community Action program and food bank. Produce and meals are supplied by the for-profit organizations Kinder Bites and Lone Tree Foods.