Omaha nonprofit giving groceries to residents losing food in weekend storm
According to the release, they will give out milk, meat, and fresh produce in south Omaha throughout the next week:
- 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
- 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. Thursday, with the 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. hour for only those impacted by the storm
- 9:30 a.m. - noon Saturday
The south Omaha location was closed because of a power outage but the Millard location was open earlier Saturday.
“Heartland Hope Mission’s South Omaha location is without power, and staff are busily working on moving our refrigerated food to keep it cold. We want to ensure that families who need to replace their food once power has been restored can easily access it. Additional distribution times may be added based on the community’s need. Families will also be able to receive clothing and hygiene items through our food pantry. We know that it is a challenge for many families who live paycheck to paycheck to buy groceries, losing a refrigerator of food is something they can’t afford.”
Chick-fil-A locations around the city are giving out two bags of ice per car to save food. The Papillion location will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the location on 123rd and Dodge Will be handing out ice at 1:30 p.m.
Keeping food edible
Officials from Douglas County Health have tips for people on preserving refrigerated items if they are still without power.
“If the power in your home is out for less than two hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to eat,” Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse said. “Keep the doors to your appliances closed as much as possible while the power is out to preserve the cold.”
- A full freezer will safely hold food for 48 hours, while a half-full freezer will safely hold food for up to 24 hours.
- Pack items from the refrigerated section, like milk, meat, fish, eggs, and spoilable leftovers, into a cooler filled with ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers work fine for this.
- Use a digital quick-response thermometer to check the temperature of your food before you cook or eat it. Dispose of any food with a temperature of more than 40°F.
Other tips they mention are looking for freezer space in a store, church, school, or a commercial freezer. Also asking friends to share freezer space if they have power.
Another tip they mention is using dry ice. According to the release, “25 lbs of dry ice will keep a 10-cubic-foot freezer below freezing for three to four days.”
They do advise being cautious when using dry ice since it freezes anything it touches. Further in the release they say, “thawed foods that are still ‘refrigerator cold’ or have ice crystals usually can be eaten or refrozen.”
“To be absolutely sure you are safe, the best practice is when in doubt, throw it out,” Dr. Huse said. “Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two or more hours, and any food that has an unusual smell, look or feel.”
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