The mission of Hunger Free Heartland is to be a catalyst for change, leveraging existing strengths within the community and focusing on systemic solutions to end childhood hunger through connecting and collaborating.
At the head of this effort is Sue Arment, an Omaha resident for more than 10 years. Arment took the position of director in June of 2010, as a result of her long-held desire for community involvement.
“I’ve been intrigued with finding creative solutions to problems and the problem of childhood hunger was especially interesting,” Arment said. “After I was blessed with being able to do a mission trip to Haiti, it cemented my passion to get involved with organizations focused on childhood hunger.”
Arment’s duties include directing the collaborative efforts of the organization and implementing their strategies by establishing numerous networks and partnerships throughout the community. These efforts include focusing on accurate assessments of community needs, as well as allocating the appropriate resources to meet those needs.
Strategies include improvement of families’ knowledge about available programs, healthy food choices and how to get the most from limited resources. Strengthening the community’s role in finding solutions to food insecurity, hunger and obesity is also a key strategy.
Efforts have also been made to educate, inform and involve communities in supporting legislative action that supports the mission of Hunger Free Heartland, as well as improving access to federal nutrition programs that provide food to families and their children who qualify but are not receiving it.
The organization also hosts numerous events, bringing together the various partnerships as they discuss the progress Hunger Free Heartland has made in their communities. Past attendees included Senator Heath Mello and Dr. Mariana Chilton from Drexel University.
“My favorite part of the job is working with so many different entities and organizations and always being impressed by what they bring to the community. It’s really exciting when we are able to find great partnerships and better ways to leverage resources that will make a positive impact in our community.”
In the end, Arment stresses the importance of cooperation for the benefit of hunger-stricken children in the Heartland.
“We can only succeed by connecting and collaborating with the community,” Arment said. “We can be a platform to try new, innovative solutions to addressing the childhood hunger issue.”