Located on North 27th Street, Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach is a hunger relief and outreach center for individuals and families experiencing homelessness or near homelessness. Everyone is welcome to walk through our open doors and get a prepared nutritious meal two times a day, every day of the year. While at the facility for a meal, guests can learn about other outreach and homeless prevention services available at Matt Talbot such as housing, case management, tenant education classes, assistance with acquiring vital identification documents, substance use services, street outreach, shower and laundry services, and assistance with basic and emergency needs.
In a typical year Matt Talbot provides more than 100,000 prepared nutritious meals and nearly 40,000 outreach and homeless prevention services. The comprehensive programming works to connect guests to resources that take care of the whole person – providing beyond basic needs to embolden people to have hope.
Nutrition is a priority at Matt Talbot. Staff work with volunteer hunger relief teams to encourage preparing meals that include low-fat protein and calcium foods, adequate fruits and vegetables (especially fresh or frozen), low sodium foods, as well as whole grains. Maximizing the overall nutritional content of the meals served at Matt Talbot will help guests prevent or manage chronic conditions related to diet such as obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Matt Talbot also has a community garden onsite called "Hope Garden".
Volunteers maintain the Hope Garden by weeding and watering nearly every day. This year’s produce included tomatoes, green and red peppers, habeneros, jalapenos, zucchini, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, acorn squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkins, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, beets, potatoes, cucumbers, herbs, strawberries and rhubarb. All produce is used either in the kitchen by Hunger Relief teams or given to guests.
Matt Talbot’s Director of Hunger Relief and Volunteerism, Victoria O’Neil, is currently working with a class from UNL that is assisting in developing relationships with local farmers and growers in order to increase farm to table options. Additionally, O’Neil is working with Nebraska Extension to provide nutritional training for Hunger Relief teams and healthy food recipes for the teams to implement in their meals.
Matt Talbot’s volunteer program is one of the largest in Lincoln with thousands of volunteers coming to the community kitchen to provide, prepare and serve meals, help with outreach programs, and work outside on the grounds and in the community garden. It is a wonderful and diverse community effort from individuals, faith communities, area schools, civic groups, businesses, and homeless guests who join together each day to defeat hunger and homeless and restore hope. Right now volunteers are needed for outdoor fall cleanup and donation organizing. Email Director of Hunger Relief and Volunteerism Victoria O’Neil or call her at 402-817-0623 for more information.