Stephen Center and Saving Grace Food Rescue Host Omaha Hunger Experience

On November 21, the Stephen Center ( partnered with the Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue in hosting The Omaha Hunger Experience, a unique event that allowed the community a chance to experience the impact of hunger. Attendees at the sold-out event received a meal ticket indicating whether they would receive a low-cost meal or a gourmet meal. While half were served a sack dinner of either a peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwich plus chips, fruit snacks, and a drink, others at their table dined on beef tenderloin, chicken piccata, whipped potatoes, vegetables, salad, and a roll.

The dining experience illustrated real-life stories shared by actors performing monologues throughout the evening of living on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, frozen pizza, mac and cheese, or cereal while growing up poor or as adults struggling with hunger. Videos played at the event showcased the relationship between the Stephen Center and Saving Grace. In 2019 at the time of the event, Saving Grace had provided more than 26,799 pounds of healthy perishable food, valued at $46,362, to the Stephen Center. This food helped the Stephen Center serve more than 200,000 meals in 2019.

Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue works on the front lines of feeding the homeless by picking up excess perishable food from a network of 58 food vendors and delivering it the same day, free of charge, to 43 nonprofit partner agencies varying from homeless shelters to children’s after-school programs, senior centers, food pantries, and transitional living facilities. Contact Beth Ostdiek Smith at / (402) 215-6718 to learn more.

Located in South Omaha, the Stephen Center has been serving the community since 1984. They provide a sober campus of resources for mental health and addiction services for the homeless, addicted, and impoverished. Their campus includes a homeless emergency shelter, inpatient/outpatient addiction treatment, permanent supportive housing apartments for disabled and low-income individuals, and a thrift store. Contact the Stephen Center at (402) 715-5441 or visit their website at or their social media (@stephencenterne).