Saving Grace Addresses Food Needs during Pandemic
Saving Grace has been on the forefront of community efforts to find creative ways to distribute more food to neighbors who are food insecure during the pandemic.

New Ways to Connect Food to Those in Need

“We are trying to stay open to this ever-changing environment and how we can be effective,” said Beth Ostdiek Smith, CEO and founder. In addition to providing its normal food rescue services, Saving Grace has relied on its unique distribution and logistics services to address emerging needs for food by:

  • Rescuing over 42,000 pounds of food in March and early April as restaurants, event venues, casinos, bars and other food vendors closed and emptied their kitchens because of COVID-19.
  • Delivering USDA Farmers to Families Food Boxes of produce and dairy for Catholic Charities, Food Bank of the Heartland and Millard Public Schools.
  • Partnering with the COVID-19 Garden/Farming Response group, Seimbra Nebraska and several community gardens that are providing produce to address food insecurity. Saving Grace handles the logistics/distribution services that connect this fresh produce with local nonprofit partners.
  • Stepping up efforts to recruit additional food vendors to meet the increased need for healthy food.

Drive-in Movie Night Features 'Wasted! The Story of Food Waste'
Join Saving Grace on Thursday, Oct. 8, for “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” at Falconwood Park in Bellevue. Tickets are $50 each and include movie snacks. The event, which allows attendees to be socially responsible while social distancing, also celebrates Saving Grace’s seventh birthday and features a raffle. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., with a program at 7:15 p.m. and the movie at 7:30 p.m.

The movie, produced by the late Anthony Bourdain, aims to change the way people buy, cook, recycle and eat food. Through the eyes of Bourdain, Dan Barber, Massimo Bottura and Danny Bowien, audiences will see how the world's most influential chefs make the most of every kind of food, transforming what most people consider scraps into incredible dishes that create a more secure food system.

The film also exposes how food waste directly contributes to climate change and shows how each of us can make small changes, such as using excess food to feed the hungry, to solve one of the greatest problems of the 21st century.

Deputy Director Joins Saving Grace
Autumn Taddicken has joined Saving Grace’s staff as deputy director. Her 30 years of nonprofit experience include leadership roles with National Audubon Society and Omaha firm Paul J. Strawhecker Inc.

“I am delighted to join the amazing team at Saving Grace,” she says.

In her career, Taddicken has managed large-scale projects and long-range planning processes, and she has guided more than 20 nonprofits on annual and capital campaigns. In her new role at Saving Grace, she will be an integral part of the leadership team with oversight of strategic operations and growth.
Upcoming Events

Food for Thought

September 10, 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. - Join us virtually via Zoom for an engaging conversation with Summer Miller, senior editor for Simply Recipes and author of the cookbook New Prairie Kitchen. She will share tips on how to creatively use – not waste – the last of the garden produce, along with ways to make the most out of a whole chicken. There's no charge to participate. Register now.

Virtual Food Days

October 5 to 10 - Saving Grace will be part of Food Day Omaha’s virtual event that will highlight what our community has done to respond to COVID-19 and celebrate our local food heroes. Each day will have a different focus, so plan to take part in the virtual event all week. Look for details soon at

Omaha Hunger Experience

November 19 – The second annual Omaha Hunger Experience, presented by Saving Grace and the Stephen Center, is going virtual. Registration will include a gourmet meal suitable for four that can be picked up at American National Bank’s 90th and Dodge location. One low-cost sack supper will be included to demonstrate the disparity created by food insecurity.

Attendees are encouraged to gather as a family or small group for their meal, which includes conversation starters around the issues of hunger and food waste. Attendees will have an option to join in the virtual Omaha Hunger Experience that evening to further their experience and to discover how Saving Grace and the Stephen Center are tackling these issues day in and day out in our community.

Tickets are $75 for a complete to-go meal to feed four. Mark your calendars, and watch for registration information in October at
“This is a hard-working, nimble organization doing important work every day. More than ever, we need to find solutions that prevent food from ending up in our landfills and provide equitable food systems for everyone in our communities.”

- Autumn Tadddicken, Saving Grace deputy director