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Home Features In the Spirit of Giving: Volunteer Opportunities This Holiday Season

Women volunteer at St. John Lutheran Church’s food pantry. Photo by Madison Pitsch.


by Madison Pitsch


What do you think of when you hear the word “Thanksgiving”? If food is your first thought, then you are not alone.

In Nebraska, 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger. In Seward County, the rate or risk of hunger, also called food insecurity, is at 11.5 percent, and the number of people that are food insecure is 1,940.

In Lancaster County, food insecurity is at 14 percent, and 41,190 people are food insecure. Help feed people this Thanksgiving with your gift of volunteering!

Produce From the Heart

Produce From the Heart is an organization that collects leftover edible produce, usually from farmers’ or gardeners’ fields, and distributes them to food banks, food pantries and homeless shelters, with the goal to end hunger in Nebraska. Volunteers help with “gleanings,” which means collecting and distributing the produce.

To participate, visit their website.

St. John Lutheran Church in Seward

St. John Lutheran Church provides several opportunities to help feed the hungry in Seward County. They host a traveling Food Pantry every fourth Tuesday of the month.

Through the help of Produce From the Heart, they collect food that is past its sell-by date but still edible from local grocers and distribute it out to those who need it. Volunteers help arrange the food and help with distribution.

St. John also hosts a Client-Choice food pantry three times a week: Mondays 3-5 p.m., Thursdays 6-8 p.m. and Saturdays 9-11 a.m. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and are expected to help sort donations. Contact Juanita Ebert at to learn more about these opportunities.

People’s City Mission in Lincoln

People’s City Mission is always willing to take volunteers, who must be at least 14 and willing to stand to work in the kitchen at the Mission. Every year PCM hosts an event where volunteers serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal to the homeless population in Lincoln. Click here for more information. 

Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach in Lincoln

Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach is also a good place to volunteer during the holidays. This hunger relief organization always has volunteer options—just go to their site and keep an eye on the volunteer positions needed to see if you can help in any way.

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