Matt Talbot - Nutrition for the Body and Soul
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. More than 44,000 outreach services were provided last year. This 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.
Last year, Matt Talbot provided nearly 180,000 meals through onsite prepared meals, emergency food pantries, and the distribution of donated high-quality food. The number of on-site meals increased by 35%, serving an average of 220 meals a day. A total of 2,774 unduplicated clients were served last year, a 20% increase from the previous year and a 62% increase from 2020.
Nutrition is a priority at Matt Talbot. We 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 helps guests prevent or manage chronic conditions related to diet such as obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Matt Talbot also has a community garden on-site called "Hope Garden". All produce from the garden is used in meals or given to guests.
This year UNL Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) worked with Matt Talbot to offer nutrition education opportunities for both volunteers and guests. Classes with volunteers were designed to provide education about how to increase the nutritional value of the meals offered to guests. Classes with guests focused on education about how to eat healthy and improve quality of life.
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 homelessness and restore hope. Right now volunteers are needed for Matt Talbot's annual Huskers Helping the Homeless fundraiser the weekend of September 30th. For more information, please email Victoria O’Neil or call 402-817-0623.