Home > Community, Food, Funding, Kitchen, Omaha > Meeting Notes: April 24, 2010

Meeting Notes: April 24, 2010

FACILITATOR: Susan Whitfield

LOCATION: Charles Washington Branch Library



I.  Growing Power Model – SPG: (Jen Valandra, Metropolitan Community College, MCC)

1.  USDA Listening Session:

  • send letters of support (date, address, specifics)
  • Three criteria: community, economic development, cultural/social
  • check Basecamp for details explanation for each (www.basecamphq.com)

2.  To Do List: (Action Steps)

  • get details for business plan from Growing Power model
  • put questions & concerns on Basecamp from NMEP coalition members
  • ask Growing Power for template for overall w/ social enterprise & retail components

3.  Pilot Project:

  • Composting: small-scale by MCC Horticultural Dept.
  • ask Growing Power representatives for specific information about their compost
  • Issues of concern: size, amount, raw materials, technology used, equipment needed, outcomes, barriers

 4.  Next Meeting for Growing Power SPG: (Jen Valandra)

  • Date:  May 5, 2010
  • Time:  10:00 AM
  • Location: Metropolitan Community College

II.  Community Kitchen – SPG: (Sharon Olson, Minne Lusa/Miller Park Neighborhood Association)

 Sustainable Garden Partnerships:

  • Minne Lusa/Miller Park Neighborhood Association & Salem’s Children Center
    • shared plan for children’s garden (outdoor classroom)
    • waiting for approval from Salem’s board of trustee’s
  • Minne Lusa/Miller Park Neighborhood Association & ENCAP
    • waiting on response from ENCAP
    • ENCAP moved to 19th & Nicholas stree
    • Annette Artherton volunteered to contact Pastor Ford for clarification on whether they are still interested in planting a garden
    • ENCAP wants to get youth involved & deliver food to seniors
    • suggestion: ENCAP maybe able to connect w/Sienna Francis House

NEW BUSINESS (Updates & New Initiatives)

I.  Community Kitchen – SPG: (Regina Tullos-Williams)

1.  Partnership between Salem’s Children Center & Family Housing Advisory Services:

  •  Salem’s Children Center (Thelma Sims, Director) has secured summer food program
  • Salem is in negotiations with Family Housing Advisory Services with possibility of securing space for meals this summer in a short-term rental
  • Salem will ensure health permits and facilities meet code

2.  Food Bank of the Heartland (FBH): (Jessica Womack, FBH Program Specialist) 

  • Mobile pantry (fresh truck) w/fresh produce distributed in targeted neighborhoods-locations TBA
  • will reimburse programs for parent meals in summer food program
  • will post FBH web site link on Basecamp
  • may provide produce for meal production

3.  Farmer’s Market: (Vic Gutman)

  • has produce available for distribution from Saturday markets
  • may get produce from market to kitchen to include in meal production
  • will connect with pantries directly and with FBH 

II. Management/Infrastructure: Contact List

  • update contact list and use larger font
  • send updated list by e-mail & post on Basecamp
  • distribute updated list in hard copy at next large group meeting

III.  Urban Ag Initiatives:

  • Vic Gutman will connect (after meeting) w/Edgar Hicks on funding & support for urban agriculture
  • suggested incorporation of urban ag initiatives into the master north omaha economic development plan  

IV.  Basecamp: online project management tool

  •  Upgrade from “free” to paid version
  • Jason Valandra has volunteered to help train coalition partners on Basecamp
    • Basecamp training at next meeting
    • bring own laptops (extra computers will be available too)

V.  Kitchen Survey: (Nancy Williams)

  •  copies of kitchen surveys handed out
  • submit all revisions to Nancy Williams by May 1st
  • post revised survey to SurveyMonkey for online distribution and data collection

VI.  No More Empty Pot’s (NMEP) Overarching Guiding Principles: Master Operations Plan

  •  use matrix to capture input from participants 
  • respond with input on your roles & responsibilities as a NMEP coalition participant
  • share any real or perceived gaps within NMEP & coalition
  • will send e-mail & post on Basecamp to all attendees on distribution list


  •  NMEP received an AIM Institute Compassion Capital Fund grant
    • Project Period: May – September 2010
    • Project Manager: Susan Whitfield


  • Date: May 22, 2010
  • Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Location:  Kaneko Library, 1111 Jones Street (thanks to Vic Gutman!)
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