Food Equity Bright Spot: Lincoln, Nebraska
The families who are here should not have to face food insecurity. If you just drive around the neighborhoods that we serve, there’s very limited access to healthy, nutritious foods.
-Krista Koch, Family Engagement Specialist at Educare Lincoln
According to PHA’s Food Equity Opportunity Map, more than 50% of census tracts in Lincoln, Nebraska — or more than 160,000 people — are in need of more equitable food access. The people Krista describes face many barriers to access, with transportation challenges being one of the largest.
That’s why Partnership for a Healthier America joined forces with Educare Lincoln, and the Food Bank of Lincoln in 2021 to provide more than 1,100 families with 268,000 servings of produce through its Good Food for All program. Each family received free boxes of produce for 12 weeks at pickup locations that were convenient for them, like at an afterschool care center.
One of the families that received boxes from the Good Food for All program was Perla. She and her daughter had recently moved to Lincoln, and the food not only helped her at a time when she was looking for work, but it also helped to build healthy habits for her daughter. “I grew up in a culture where things came from the ocean and the forest. So, I never thought that cooking from scratch was rare. That is very important for me to maintain. I want to pass what my grandmothers did to my daughter, and the way I do that is by making the food that she sees me making.”
Perla also talked about the work that so many people are doing in Lincoln to help ensure families have access to healthy food. “There’s a lot of people here, a lot of organizations trying to make a difference for people that lost everything. I found communities of different kinds from all over the world. I’m learning to love this city.” PHA works with organizations like the one that Perla describes every day as part of our mission to improve Food Equity for every American.
Our work is not complete in Lincoln, or in cities like it around the country. While having access to produce for 12 weeks can help build a lasting habit of produce, it’s critical to create sustainable access to vegetables and fruits. PHA is committed to adding 100 million servings of fruits and vegetables to the marketplace by 2025.
At PHA, our mission is to improve affordable access to healthy food for all Americans, but it will take a city-by-city approach to our food system to make that happen. Our Food Equity Opportunity Map is just one way to highlight where our work is most needed. We are proud to be working in Lincoln, and other cities around the country to improve access to good food.
Our work on this map, and Food Equity is just beginning. We hope you’ll take some time to explore the Food Equity Opportunity Map, and to see what it looks like in your neighborhood.
Partnership for a Healthier America has launched its Food Equity Opportunity Map, highlighting where improving access to good food would make the greatest impact and allowing everyone to see what Food Equity looks like in their community for the first time. This blog is part of an ongoing effort to highlight bright spots around the country where PHA is working to increase equitable access to good food.