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Heart Ministry Center to reopen in-person food pantry

WOWT 6 News Live at 6:30
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 7:06 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Food insecurity impacts nearly 12% of adults in the U.S., and that number is even higher for children.

One north Omaha organization is working to make sure people get the food they need in a way that is dignified.

For two years the grocery store inside of Heart Ministry Center has sat empty. The team had to shut it down and move to drive-thru pantries during the pandemic.

At the end of the month, the pantry will be bustling once again.

“We’ve grown so much in a short amount of time so many people who are going to be a part of it have never been to in-person food distribution,” said Mark Dahir, Heart Ministry Center CEO.

Leaders with Heart Ministry Center say it’s crucial those facing food insecurity get the chance to pick out the food they want.

“Every human being deserves the dignity associated with choosing their own food they want to it,” said Dahir.

Volunteers are doing practice rounds so everyone knows what to expect when people come in a week and a half.

Buffie Somers is a long-time volunteer. She says she’ll have an important task once people come back. She will be keeping kids who come in with their parents busy.

“As you see in this room, I have the best volunteer job ever,” Somers said. “This is wonderful because the children come here and they get to do art and then they pick a new toy. So not only am I excited that they will be able to get food but that the children get to rejoin me in here.”

Leaders with Heart Ministry Center say having a one-stop shop like this will be life-changing for those who need it the most.

“We believe it’s hard to have a high quality of life when you’re not self-sufficient so, amongst other things, the heart ministry center believes in self-sufficiency,” said Dahir.

The doors will reopen to the community on March 30th.

The center will have a vaccine clinic and tax experts on site to help people as well.

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