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Kindness Kitchen launches community refrigerator behind InCommon Community Development in north Omaha

Posted at 8:39 PM, May 30, 2024
  • Video shows the Kindness Kitchen refrigerator behind the InCommon Community Development in Walnut Hill.
  • Kylie Jones at InCommon and Darby Whealy the organizer behind bringing a community refrigerator are both members of the community wanting to address the food desert issue in north Omaha.
  • Studies show that between 2020 and 2022 over 12% of Nebraskan households experienced food insecurity.


    For years now we've seen stories and studies about how north Omaha is a food desert. That means people have to travel for miles for fresh food there are many people working to solve this problem through gardens free pantries and other programs. One organization is checking out the new way a long-standing organization is trying to help and how people from all over Omaha can pitch in to make sure our neighbors don't go hungry.

    Rose Bacardi, slept outside last night. She doesn’t have a home. She says she lost her house in a fire a few years back.

    Bacardi says she makes ends meet by working part time detailing cars at a dealership.

    “They actually care about the community. Some people do take advantage of it. I don't lie about that. I'm not even just a homeless, but some people just are greedy," said Bacardi.

    Bacardi says she's not only shops for herself here but she also helps out a friend she meant at a community garden.

    “She has four little kids and now she's going through a hard time to sit on the verge of being homeless herself. She wants her job her husband last job,” said Bacardi.

    A local charity in north Omaha is looking to bring food to those in and around Walnut Hill. Studies show that between 2020 and 2022 over 12% of Nebraskan households experienced food insecurity.

    Darby Whealy of kindness kitchen say the charity launched their community refrigerator just a little under two weeks ago.

    “We have some cake mix in there. There are bags of dried beans. They're also canned beans. We have a huge range of pantry items available today. Took a peek in there a little bit ago. There's some like grab n land go proteins in there," said Whealy

    Whealy says volunteers and everyone involved in helping the community is taking action is make sure neighbors know about the community refrigerator.

    “We’re in the neighborhood passing out flyers sending texts to folks we had a community meeting couple of weeks before we open the fridge so we're doing our best to get word to people. We also have social media so anyone can find us on Facebook or Instagram," said Whealy

    The community fridge sits right outside of Incommon in their green space. Kylie Jones with In Common Community Development, tells me.Kindness kitchen a charity.. has partnered with Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue, Inc to supply food and InCommon to supply space.

    "Saving Grace does those deliveries so they'll pick up food from different grocery stores restaurants even places like LinkedIn or places that have chefs there that cook a family size portions of food,” said Jones.

    Whealy tells me since having the refrigerator here. They've composted food twice to prevent people from taking old food while also staying true to their mission.

    “What we wanna do is keep food out of landfills so when something is donated, that might be past it it's prime if it's not appropriate for the fridge, we compost as opposed to throwing things away," said Whealy.

    The charity Kindness Kitchen says they restock their shelves every Friday and that they hope the community can help spread the word.