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Lincoln Community Foundation, Lied Center for Performing Arts and Food Bank Partner in Community-Wide Initiative

The Lincoln Community Foundation, Lied Center for Performing Arts and Food Bank of Lincoln are joining forces in a community-wide initiative centered on finding a long-term, sustainable solution to childhood hunger in Lancaster County. The Grumble Project was born out of the Lincoln Vital Signs report, which revealed alarming statistics about poverty and food insecurity, especially among Lincoln children. The mission of the Grumble Project is to raise awareness about the realities of childhood hunger in the Lincoln community and find the means and solutions to feed our future. In conjunction with the campaign, a new website, GrumbleProject.org, has been launched by the Food Bank to house information and resources, details on Grumble Project outreach and “Grumble Stories” of community members who have been affected by food insecurity.

Story collection will be a vital component of the Grumble Project. A “Grumble Stories” display and collection booth is currently being designed and built in partnership by Bruce Thiel, Ebbeka Design Studio and the Food Bank of Lincoln.  It will appear at various Grumble Project events as well as numerous locations throughout the Lincoln community. Community members are invited to share their own Grumble stories in the booth either verbally or in writing, submit their stories via GrumbleProject.org, or by contacting the Food Bank of Lincoln directly. Many Grumble Stories will be featured on the campaign website.

The Lincoln Community Foundation is also presenting a brand new family musical commissioned and produced by the Lied Center for Performing Arts titled “Puddin’ and the Grumble.” The show was written by Becky Boesen and David Von Kampen and inspired by the kids of the Clinton Creative Club, an afterschool club facilitated by the Lied Center at Clinton Elementary School.

"As a 60th anniversary gift for the community, we are excited to fund "Puddin' and the Grumble," said Barbara Bartle, President of Lincoln Community Foundation. “This is a unique opportunity to utilize performing arts as a way to start conversations and work together to support our children and their families who face hunger."

Told through the eyes of a plucky 5th grader, “Puddin’ and the Grumble” fearlessly takes on hunger in our own community and features an uplifting score that includes everything from cha cha and rap to soaring Broadway-style melodies. Puddin’s journey is made complete with the help of her big-hearted and often hilarious family and friends. The show will make its world premiere at the Lied Center’s Johnny Carson Theater March 10 – 20. More information and tickets are available at LiedCenter.org.

Following select performances of “Puddin’ and the Grumble,” audience “talk backs” will be facilitated by a panel including members of the show’s artistic team and experts from Lincoln’s human services community. Panelists will represent a wide diversity of ages and backgrounds and foster an open dialogue with the audience, leading to a discussion of courses of action to further the mission of the Grumble Project and alleviating food insecurity in the Lincoln area.

“The arts have a way of making difficult topics more approachable,” said Bill Stephan, Executive Director of the Lied Center. “Our hope is that ‘Puddin’ and the Grumble’ will spark a dialogue in our community creating greater awareness of the challenges we face and most importantly, help us arrive at a solution.”

“Combining the arts with human service always provides exceptional impact,” said Scott Young Executive Director of the Food Bank of Lincoln. “The child hunger story in Lincoln, Nebraska, and America is important for all of us to hear and acknowledge. The creators of the musical have crafted a sensitive, thoughtful and entertaining story about child hunger, family resilience, the importance of education, and the vulnerabilities faced by families who are an important part of our community.”

If you or your organization are interested in supporting the Grumble Project, please email cchristensen22@unl.edu, mkumke@lincolnfoodbank.org, or pamh@lcf.org.