A chef in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area has set a big goal to break a world’s record while trying to feed thousands of hungry people — in one day. Lynn Leahy is president of the non-profit organization, The Power of One, and has organized a huge spaghetti feed that will take place at 12 metro area high schools on Sunday. Leahy says all proceeds will go directly to the Food Bank for the Heartland.
“We are just a bunch of regular Joes that want to make a difference,” Leahy says. “There is so much overwhelming bad sometimes, so much in the news, how we look at politics, how divided it is, how divided everything seems to be. I wanted to pull us together just a little bit.” A recent U.S.D.A. study found about 12-percent of Iowa’s population is food insecure, meaning, they don’t always know where their next meal will come from.
The Omaha-based Food Bank for the Heartland helps stock the shelves at 285 food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens in Nebraska and western Iowa. Leahy says the Food Bank is the sole beneficiary of this weekend’s event. “We’re doing the World’s Largest Spaghetti Feed Ever,” Leahy says. “We thought in order to get everybody involved in this and to really create that atmosphere, we needed to make it a contest.”
To break the record, 17,000 plates of food will need to be served on Sunday at midday. She says everyone is welcome to have a meal and if they can make a contribution, great. “It’s a free will donation,” Leahy says. “If you don’t have any money, come eat. We really want to feed you. Our goal was for one day, in this town, no one goes hungry. No one. How realistic is that, I don’t know, but man, can I make an effort? Yeah.”
Food will be served from 11 A.M. until 3 P.M. on Sunday at high schools in Omaha, Ralston, Plattsmouth, Westside, and at Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs. The U.S.D.A. report found 11.9 percent of Iowans are “food insecure,” missing meals or eating food that’s cheaper but with low nutritional value, just to have something to eat. Iowa is doing better than the national average of 14.6 percent.