Feeding a community and offering hope

Getting its start in 1992, serving meals on Saturday nights to those in need, Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach is now a permanent fixture in the Lincoln, Nebraska community. 

Today, Matt Talbot not only provides lunch and dinner daily, but they also support and serve the emotional and spiritual needs of the community by working with those who are underprivileged or without a home, through outreach, advocacy, education, food and shelter. 

A Mother and Daughter’s Impact

Local farmer Paula Peterson and her daughter, Erica Siemek, have been involved with Matt Talbot for many years. Each Christmas, the mother-daughter duo put together beautiful stockings filled with toiletries and essentials and hand them out to visitors at the organization’s Christmas meal. 

Knowing the importance and value of Matt Talbot firsthand, and upon learning about America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by Bayer Fund, Peterson and Siemek knew they had to throw their hat in the ring and enroll. Luckily for them, the pair was chosen as a Grow Communities winner, and Peterson and Siemek were able to direct a $2,500 donation to Matt Talbot.

How Far a Grant Can Reach

The impact of the donation has been astounding. 

“It’s about $2.50 a meal – this [donation] provides 1,000 meals. Considering we were up 4,000 meals last year to this year, that’s a big deal to us,” said Sally Buchholz, Director of Development at Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach. “Sixty percent of the people we serve are not homeless, but the meals help them have enough resources so they can continue to pay their rent, for school supplies, medicine and more.”

Because of thoughtful farmers like Peterson and Siemek, Matt Talbot can continue to expand its services beyond food, with a focus on thriving instead of simply surviving.

“Bayer Fund is so helpful because it’s a puzzle to try and keep our doors open every day,” said Susanne Blue, Executive Director at Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach.

Growing up in a farming family, Siemek knows how important it is to step up and make as large an impact as possible in her rural community. Matt Talbot is more than just a center for meals, but also a space for community and support.

“Thanks to Bayer Fund, we are able to help our community in ways that we weren’t able to do before,” said Siemek. “We take care of each other.”

An America’s Farmers Grow Communities donation from Bayer Fund can help support nonprofits like Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach across America. Farmers, enroll now through Nov. 1 to make a difference in your rural community.