A local storage company known for posting creative billboards has put up one that is garnering some controversy online.
Dino’s Storage, near 27th and Douglas streets — right across the street from a neighborhood food pantry — put up a billboard that states: “Anyone that refuses to work should not eat.”
"The Lord picks the quotes, the words that he has already said and set in stone from the bible," said Jena Bailey, president of Dino's Storage.
She asks those driving by to read it carefully.
"It says 'refuses.' It doesn't say those that 'can't' work; it specifically says 'refuses,' " Bailey said. "The children that we have or the disabled people that we have in this country — it's not saying that they shouldn't eat."A spokeswoman for the company, Jena Bailey, said Dino's has put up bible verses on their billboards since the company began two decades ago.
"We see it more as a community service, giving back to the community that we're in. We like to touch, inspire, anybody that we can and we think this is a good way to do that," says Bailey.
She also said the same quote has been used at their location on West Maple Street and denied that anybody or any group is being targeted by the billboard.
The sign has generated a discussion on Reddit, with one commentor calling the sign and others like it "an embarrassment to Omaha."
The church across the street, Kounze Memorial Lutheran Church, runs a food pantry. The pastor there said the Bible verse on the sign lacks context, and that his pantry will give food to anybody that asks for it, regardless of whether they want to work.
The church uses another motto when serving food, Pastor Paul Moessner said.
"We would prefer to give food to somebody that doesn't deserve it than to miss somebody who needs it,” he said.
The quote paraphrases a verse in the New Testament, which reads: "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."
"There are people in our community who it would be good if they heard the message, along with the opportunity of here's a job that will give you dignity and help you pay your bills," Moessner said.
He said he would preach a slightly different message to those at the pantry.
"I don't want to say they're doing it because they're nasty. But at the same time, I'm going to say: 'Here's the message we hope you hear from God, not just somebody who thinks they're talking about God,' " Moessner said.
Bailey said she did not single out anybody at the food pantry when posting this quote.
"It didn't even cross my mind," she said. "I'd put up this quote at every single one of my facilities."
Bailey also says she has received calls from people telling her the billboard quotes have changed their lives.