Service to Our Community
Open Harvest is a thriving neighborhood cooperative grocery with a friendly, knowledgeable staff committed to our mission of providing good health through good nutrition. Since our founding in 1975, we have built a caring community for people seeking high quality natural foods, by offering a supportive and vibrant environment. Open Harvest was awarded the 'Community Gem Award' by the Nebraska Retailers Association and the Wachiska Audubon Lyman Environmental Award in the fall of 2006.
With our growing fiscal achievements, and as the largest and oldest natural foods grocery in the capital city, Open Harvest is poised for expansion into an outstanding model of retail cooperative services. We have done much preliminary work, both with an in-house committee and with consultants, to ready ourselves for growth, and are rapidly outgrowing our current 5,500 square foot location.
Over the course of our history, we have been recognized for our dedication to consumer education, local producers, and sustainable agriculture. In 2006, we received a USDA Community Food Project grant for our "From Garden to Table" project. The three year project addresses the needs of low-income, minority and New American communities by providing access to affordable, high-quality, whole foods, developing markets for local urban producers, and hands-on education on local food, gardening and nutrition. Our primary partners are Lincoln Parks and Recreation and Community CROPS, a local garden project.
Co-op staff has met with Nebraska and U.S. congressmen to inform them about the impact of legislation on local and organic food and farming issues. We are dedicated to fostering community gardens and supporting the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, the Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign, Slow Food Nebraska, and other efforts to enhance local food production.
Open Harvest works with the University of Nebraska to support organic farming classes, eating disorder awareness, student environmental organizations, and related events. We offer interactive healthy food programs with local hospitals and the Lincoln Public Schools and engage in the school Ventures in Partnerships. Our co-op offers healthy cooking classes, a diabetic support group and store tours and we participate in wellness fairs to educate consumers, families, and children on good choices for nourishing food.
A Cooperative Community Fund was started in 2007. Open Harvest began raising money at the registers each month for local non-profit organizations. The "Give Where You Live" Campaign is a national effort to support food cooperatives across the U.S. in building local Cooperative Community Funds (CCF). The interest earned by each fund will be given to local groups working on issues relating to sustainable agriculture and organic food, hunger and social issues, environmental protection, and cooperatives.
We are dedicated to our mission of good health through good nutrition, and service to our membership and our community. We continue to seek ways to develop partnerships to sustain our cooperative and our society.