FBI Omaha
Special Agent Michele Stevenson
(402) 530-1177
February 25, 2019

FBI Omaha Field Office Announces Director’s Community Leadership Award Presented to Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue

OMAHA—The FBI’s Omaha Field Office is pleased to announce Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue and its founder Beth Ostdiek Smith as a recipient of the 2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Saving Grace and Mrs. Smith was selected for having demonstrated outstanding contributions to her community through service. On Monday, February 25, 2019, Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Randall Thysse and other FBI officials congratulated and recognized Mrs. Smith with this honor.

The Director’s Community Leadership Award was formally created in 1990 as a way to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence in America; performing notable service regarding civil rights; advancing cooperation between law enforcement and ethnic and minority groups; making creative efforts to solve a community problem; or for outstanding contributions to the community through service. Recipients of this award are nominated by each of the FBI’s 56 field offices and are recognized for their service above and beyond the call of duty to help keep America and its residents safe.

Started in October 2013 by Beth Ostdiek Smith, Saving Grace redirects food destined for landfills into the hands of those who need it. Starting with three food donors and three food pantries in Omaha, Saving Grace picked up donated dairy products, fruits and vegetables, prepared and packaged meals, meats and other healthy foods and delivered them the same day, free of charge, to local non-profits that feed the hungry.

Celebrating their five year anniversary in October 2018, Saving Grace now partners with over 50 grocery stores, wholesalers, convenience stores, event venues, caterers, restaurants, and schools to pick up food otherwise destined for the landfill and delivers that food to 37 local shelters, food pantries, senior citizen centers, after school programs, transitional living facilities, and other non-profit agencies in the Omaha area.

By the end of December 2018, Saving Grace had rescued 2.9 million pounds of food that is still good but not sellable, getting that into the hands of the one in five children in the Omaha community that might have otherwise gone to bed hungry. By creating the pipeline of excess perishable food from businesses to non-profit agencies that feed the hungry free of charge, these non-profits can direct their resources to other programs.

In May, Mrs. Smith will attend a ceremony at FBI Headquarters where she, along with recipients from across the country, will be presented with the award by FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Additional information about the Director’s Community Leadership Awards can be found at: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/partnerships_and_outreach/community_outreach/dcla.