Celebrating a Decade of Perishable Food Rescue

September 30, 2013 – the first day Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue began operations. Fast forward 3,650 days and Saving Grace has reached a milestone in its history, celebrating ten years of operations. Founded by CEO/President Beth Ostdiek Smith, Saving Grace continues to reshape the conversation in the Omaha metro around wasted food and its societal and environmental impacts.

To honor this moment, Saving Grace hosted To the Rescue: Celebrating a Decade of Nourishing People, Nurturing the Planet. Held Monday, September 25 at Film Streams Dundee Theater, the event’s goal was to empower people to solve the problems of wasted food and hunger in our community. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and appetizers from Lola’s, along with unique tastings by local chefs.

Following the reception, several short films about the impact of wasted food on society, and solutions that everyone can be part of, were shown. An engaging panel discussion, along with an opportunity for guests to ask questions about topics such as Omaha’s Climate Action Plan and Saving Grace’s role in it, also occurred. Panelists included Sam Buck, Senior Manager of Development, ReFED; Pete Festersen, Omaha City Council President and Vice President of Strategy and Public Affairs, CHI Health; Tyler Humphrey, Senior Executive Chef, Levy at CHI Health Center Omaha; Robert Wilson, Food Service Director, The Stephen Center; and Beth Ostdiek Smith, Founder and CEO/President of Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue. Brian O’Malley, Associate Dean, Culinary, Hospitality and Horticulture at Metropolitan Community College, served as the emcee of the event.

To date, approximately eight million pounds of food, at a value of over $15 million dollars, has been rescued by Saving Grace, and redistributed to serve those in need. We thank the many financial donors who have supported our work, the food donors who have redirected nutritious, perishable food away from landfills and donated it through Saving Grace to reach our nonprofit partners, past and current staff, board and advisory board members who help guide our efforts, and community members and volunteers who advocate for the mission. We are honored you are part of Saving Grace.