Omaha organization donates ground beef to area pantries

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – High prices at the gas pump and at the grocery store continue to push some families to the limit.

On Tuesday, a local organization provided much-needed relief by donating hard-to-find produce to a few food pantries in the area.

After a two-year COVID hiatus, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Omaha, organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, has returned to the streets of Omaha.

“We are responsible for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” said John Farnan, president of Irish Charities of Nebraska. “We’re the largest solely controlled Hibernian parade in the country and one of the top 10 largest parades in the country to go along with that, so we’re a big parade here in Omaha.”

The organization does much more than sponsor a grand parade

At least twice a year, Hibernians donate to area food banks. This time they unloaded a van full of ground beef. About 1,000 books are delivered to the St. Vincent De Paul pantry.

“When we started making meat all the shelters told John we just couldn’t get it” and funny we only have good meat and we know how to get meat, and so we take our money and we compile it and we stretch it as much as we can. And we buy as much as we can. And I come from an old farming family and you can stretch a pound of ground beef a long way.

The ground beef will go to families who are currently being hit hard as they try to recover from COVID and cope with rising costs.

“Food prices and inflation are going crazy,” said Gillian Cromwell, director of the St. Vincent De Paul Pantry. “We see him spiraling out of control, his people are hurting where it really hurts the most and that’s in their pocketbooks. The meat is huge to help us help the neighbors we serve.

Officials say the Hibernians are the largest Irish Catholic men’s organization in the United States and they make their annual meat donations for one simple reason:

“We don’t like the fact that the Irish have come to America hungry and we don’t want the people who are here to be hungry, so we are taking steps to make sure they are not.”

The Irish charity also donated 1,000 pounds of ground beef to the Heart Ministry Center pantry.

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