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WIN grants help feed children, train rural emergency responders

Women Investing in Nebraska announces the 2016 recipients of two $62,500 grant awards.

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ABOUT THIS PHOTO: Representatives of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Simulation in Motion–Nebraska program and the Food Bank for the Heartland’s Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen program accepted grants of $62,500 each from Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) on Sept. 21 in Lincoln. Pictured are, from left, Marissa Stanton, Dr. Paul Paulman and Brian Monaghan of UNMC, WIN Founding Chair Lisa Smith, WIN 2017 Chair Carey Hamilton, and Brian Barks and Susan Ogborn of Food Bank for the Heartland.

September 23, 2016—Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) has awarded its 2016 grants of $62,500 each to the Food Bank for the Heartland for its Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen program and to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for its Simulation in Motion Nebraska program.

Lisa Smith, chair of WIN, said the 2016 grants target programs that will touch many Nebraskans by addressing critical community needs.

“Feeding hungry children in the summer months and providing state-of-the-art training to our rural emergency medical service providers are rewarding investments for WIN members this year,” Smith said.

Smith said more than 80 women donated this year to make these grant awards possible and that more women are finding value in collective giving.

Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen received a $62,500 grant from WIN. Now in its sixth year at the Food Bank for the Heartland, the program provides daily meals throughout the summer to children who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches during the school year. Omaha-area summer programs include food for parents or guardians who also might otherwise go hungry.

Susan Ogborn, president and CEO of the Food Bank for the Heartland, said the grant from WIN will make a significant difference in Nebraska, where the USDA Food Insecurity Index shows that one in five children are food insecure, meaning they are uncertain from where their future meals will come.

“With this grant award, Food Bank for the Heartland will be able to continue a program begun six years ago and provide healthy meals for low income children in the summer when they are not able to access breakfast or lunch at school,” Ogborn said. “This summer we served 50,000 meals to little ones who otherwise would have had nothing to eat. You have made it possible to do this again next summer and have made a lasting difference in the health and well-being of hundreds of children.”

Based in Omaha, Food Bank for the Heartland provides emergency and supplemental food to people in need in Nebraska and western Iowa. Last year it distributed 15.8 million meals to its nonprofit partners who touched the lives of over 250,000 people in the community. It distributes food to 530 food pantries, schools, emergency shelters and other nonprofit partners in Nebraska and Iowa, serving 93 counties in the two-state region.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center and its Simulation in Motion–Nebraska program received a $62,500 grant from WIN. Simulation in Motion Nebraska uses mobile, high-tech simulation trucks to provide training opportunities on life-saving procedures for rural emergency medical providers and hospitals. Training will be provided at no cost and will be tailored to needs in each region of the state. Each simulation vehicle houses human patient simulators and supplies to recreate emergency settings as close to reality as possible.

Paul Paulman, M.D., UNMC assistant dean for clinical skills and quality, said rural emergency first responders are a key link in the health care system, and in areas of low population in Nebraska they may be the only medical providers for many miles.

“We are extremely grateful for the grant from Women Investing in Nebraska, as it will further help us take training directly to our rural first medical responders who need it most,” Paulman said. “Since the number of rural first responders in Nebraska is decreasing, it is essential that we support them as they continue to save lives and serve the citizens of our state.”

WIN is a collective giving group operating in partnership with the University of Nebraska Foundation and the UNF Charitable Gift Fund to support women philanthropists through education, engagement and empowerment. Each year, gifts from members are combined and awarded equally between two Nebraska programs that address critical community needs. One annual grant is awarded to a Nebraska nonprofit organization and another grant is awarded to a University of Nebraska program or organization. Since its creation in 2011, WIN has awarded $692,650 in grants.

WIN members include women of all ages and backgrounds from across Nebraska and the country. To learn more about Women Investing in Nebraska visit

Media contact: Robb Crouch, public relations director, 402-458-1142,

"Now that I'm in my 50s, a key truth has emerged, and it is simply and importantly this: The power and importance of women friends and colleagues in my life. Because when women join together through a shared passion for giving, the world will change for the better."

-Tricia Raikes, Co-founder of the Raikes Family Foundation