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Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach hosted the 14th annual Feeding the Soul of the City dinner and fundraising event March 28 at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel. Because of the generosity of 48 corporate and individual sponsors, the 400 guests who attended and the many who gave donations prior to the event, Matt Talbot raised a gross total amount of over $185,000. The funds will support the day-to-day hunger relief and homeless prevention services of the community kitchen and outreach center.

Jon and Taryn Vanderford from KOLN-TV Channels 10/11 served as Masters of Ceremonies, and Lincoln City Councilman Carl Eskridge provided a brief advocacy message as well as the invocation.

Guests were also treated to a video featuring a former Matt Talbot client who was homeless, addicted to methamphetamine and sleeping in a parking garage before entering Matt Talbot’s Transitional Housing Program. The video can be seen on Matt Talbot’s website or Facebook page.

“It takes a lot of courage to tell your story, and we are grateful that Brian chose to share his so openly,” said Executive Director Susanne Blue. “His story is one of transformation and hard work, and is a great illustration of the power of bold hope.”

Compassion in Action awards were presented to Paul Mitchell – The School and CEDARS Youth Services. Students from Paul Mitchell have provided monthly haircuts to guests at Matt Talbot since 2013 – a valuable service that restores dignity, confidence and hope to the homeless and near homeless.

CEDARS partners with Matt Talbot in many ways to help families and at-risk children and youth, including teaching a parenting class in Matt Talbot’s Life Skills Course and operating an extensive street outreach program.

The partnerships with these two agencies – who serve with a spirit of help, hope and compassion – creates effective and efficient outreach to better serve Matt Talbot guests.

“Honoring our partners with Compassion in Action Awards is one of my favorite things to do,” said Blue. “The only way to truly meet the needs of the homeless is to work together to find solutions.”

Serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach is a hunger relief and outreach center for those in need. Annually, Matt Talbot provides over 110,000 nutritious meals to the hungry in Lincoln and more than 40,000 homeless prevention services such as housing, drug and alcohol evaluations, life skills classes, nutrition counseling, and help with obtaining vital identification documents. Learn more at mtko.org.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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