Strike Out Hunger Still Hitting Home Runs
After three years, one small group project is still a big hit in Omaha. The group’s members, Sam Mosser, Sean Olson, Jim Grotrian, Michael Robinson and Sarah Waldman, were graduates of Leadership Omaha Class 29. They developed their project, Strike Out Hunger, from an idea to organize a downtown food drive during the summer months. Now, in coordination with the Food Bank, Strike Out Hunger has become one of Omaha’s most successful food drives.
Perhaps the most vital element to Strike Out Hunger’s success is its occurrence during the summer. “Most giving is done during the holidays, which lasts the Food Bank through spring,” explains Mosser. “Their shortage happens during the summer.”
Additionally, National Hunger Awareness Day and the NCAA Men’s College World Series (CWS) both fall in June. “We wanted to tie our food drive in with the CWS,” says Mosser. “That’s where the name comes from. The participants that donate the most food win reserved CWS tickets.”
Since its inception, Strike Out Hunger has seen a remarkable increase in results. In 2008, the Food Bank received 15,002 pounds of food and $4570 in donations, an 18 percent increase over the previous year. “We didn’t know what our results would be this time around,” admits Mosser. “But they were up almost 70 percent, which says a lot. The amount of food collected in 10 days is phenomenal.”
This year’s food drive began on June 1 and concluded on June 12. Participating companies included: Harrah’s and Horseshoe casinos, Hilton Omaha, Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP, Kutak Rock LLP, McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO, MECA/Qwest Center Omaha, Omaha World-Herald, Qwest, Union Pacific Railroad, U.S. Bank and Woodmen of the World. Together, they donated 17,784 pounds of food and $16,730 to the Food Bank. Hilton Omaha was recognized as having the most donated per employee, while Woodmen of the World donated the most overall.