Lincoln, NE   |


To serve the needs of Lincoln's working poor and homeless by relieving hunger, overcoming homelessness, addressing addiction, and providing outreach and advocacy.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Susanne Blue

Main address

PO Box 80935

Lincoln, NE 68501 USA

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NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach (MTKO) exists to relieve hunger and homelessness by providing daily meals and a wide array of outreach and homeless prevention services for our community's homeless and working poor. In addition to providing lunch and dinner 365 days a year Matt Talbot offers permanent and transitional housing programs with the goal of eliminating homelessness. We also offer intensive case management services to help clients remain accountable, build skills and achieve their goals. Other services offered include substance use counseling and drug & alcohol evaluations by licensed professional staff, a 4-week life skills training program offered year round, nutrition counseling, and a myriad of basic needs services such as showers & laundry services, a mailing address, assistance in obtaining state identification, street outreach to the literal homeless and care & compassion.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Hunger Relief

The goal of the Hunger Relief Program is to provide daily hunger relief to individuals and families in need. It is the foundation of Matt Talbot’s mission, with volunteers providing, preparing, and serving the majority of the meals. Meals are served cafeteria style on trays with guests seating themselves at tables of 6 or 8 in a large dining room. There is also an option for to-go meals if preferred by guests. Lunch is served from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm and dinner is served from 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm. Annually, Matt Talbot provides more than 100,000 meals to Lincoln's working poor and homeless, two times a day, every day of the year.  Food pantries are also available for those who do not have enough food at home. In 2022, Matt Talbot provided nearly 180,000 meals through onsite prepared meals, emergency food pantries, and donated high-quality food.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Economically disadvantaged people

In addition to providing access to nutritious food, another main objective of the Hunger Relief Program is to provide outreach and homeless prevention services while individuals are on-site for meals. In 2022, nearly 45,000 outreach and homeless prevention services were provided, an increase from the previous year. Examples of outreach services include laundry, showers, substance use services, tenant education classes, and help with vital identification documents needed to apply for employment or stay at People’s City Mission. Additionally, Matt Talbot also provides rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing, and transitional housing with professional staff providing ongoing case management to all housing clients.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Substance abusers

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goals are to defeat hunger & homelessness. Daily meals alleviate hunger. Through Outreach we connect clients to resources that meet needs & impart basic life skills. We address addiction by helping clients with substance issues. We plan to increase the number of substance evaluations to 150 per year by the end of 2019. We also plan to launch pre-treatment services to assist clients on waiting lists. Alleviating homelessness by helping to remove barriers to permanent housing or preventing the loss of housing is a goal. We will provide permanent housing to 35 individuals & families by the end of 2019. Other goals include identifying funding needs & creating sustainability 5 years out. We’ll update our funding plan to meet long-term fiscal and facility’s needs. Lastly we’ll develop organizational infrastructure to support current & future operations. Strategies include updating job descriptions, organizational charts, succession plans and strengthening our management capacity.

The provision of two meals daily is a strategy, coordination of volunteers is another. We improve nutrition by having a dietitian who offers tips for menus, cooking classes & nutrition therapy. Strategies for Homeless Outreach include providing personal hygiene items, shower & laundry services, and ID replacement. We work with partners for services such as haircuts, foot care, job search, medical care & financial assistance. We provide incentives for class completion and ̀adjust courses to encourage participation. We address addiction through education, evaluations &, counseling and by hosting AA meetings. Addressing homelessness is done by street outreach, providing rental assistance, life skills training and transitional housing. We continue to add landlord partnerships to build capacity. Efforts to divert homelessness are provided through mediation and limited financial assistance. Fundraising, social media, advertising & publicity are strategies used to garner support.

MTKO is capable of meeting our goals because we coordinate a large volunteer effort to provide, prepare & serve food, twice daily. We have individual & corporate donors who provide funding out of their concern for the disadvantaged. Government agencies at the local, state & federal level have entrusted us with grants for specific programs. Employees work hard to ̀ address every aspect of our mission. These include social workers, case managers, outreach specialists, licensed counselors, a registered dietitian, a housing locator & a homeless diversion specialist. There is a balance of competent and equally compassionate staff acting in volunteer coordination, management, fundraising & other support roles. Our Board is comprised of community & business leaders who serve with dedication. Partnerships of various types provide access to services at our facility. Use of social networking, speakers, assistance from local media and public relations all provide capacity to meet our goals.

Since our inception over 25 years ago Matt Talbot has provided over 2.2 million meals and 280,000 outreach and homeless prevention services. Our organization has strategically grown in size, scope, and capacity to address the needs of the working poor and homeless in our community. We have become a leading homeless service organization recognized in our industry as compassionate, visionary and accountable. We won the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award in 2013 and have maintained a 4 star charity rating for four consecutive years. Matt Talbot is one of 6 charities in Lincoln and 31 in Nebraska to receive Charity Navigator’s highest rating (June 2018). It is an honor and blessing to be a part of an organization that serves the poor with comprehensive services and dignity. We look forward to the next 25 years as we continue to address our goals to defeat hunger and homelessness and restore hope. We will be strategic, measure our effectiveness and be a beacon of hope for all.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Anyone can walk through our doors, receive a meal, and speak with staff about their needs and concerns. Sixty-two percent of people served are the working poor or near homeless who have not entered shelter, where eating meals at Matt Talbot may prevent homelessness by allowing these individuals to save money to pay for rent, utilities, or gas. Approximately 38% of those served at Matt Talbot are homeless. Because we serve families as well as individuals, guests range from newborn babies to the elderly. In 2020 we served 1,704 unduplicated individuals (58% male and 42% female). In 2020 guests identified as White (66%), African-American (17%), multiple races (7%), American Indian or Alaska Native (6%), or as either Asian, Native Hawaiian, or unknown (4%).

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Historically meals have been served on trays in a congregate setting (cafeteria style) with guests sitting at tables in the facility's dining room. However, congregate meals were temporarily suspended during the pandemic and we shifted to provide boxed "to-go" meals only. When the dining room re-opened we continued to offer a "to-go" option for guests who preferred not to stay at the facility to eat and to help reduce crowding. Based on positive feedback from guests, the "to-go" option for meals is now a permanant change to our meal service and will continue beyond the pandemic.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Asking for feedback from guests and clients is one way we can improves relationships and strengthen our community. When guests have a voice and are part of the conversation about rules it can lead to more "buy-in" and compliance.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 01/20/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Alynn Sampson

Food Bank of Lincoln

Term: 2024 - 2022

Greg Frayser


Natasha Plooster

Bridgepoint Investment Banking

Kiley Wiechman

HBE Becker Meyer Love LLP

Rick Costello

SAP America

Brad Crain

Union Bank & Trust

Eric Crawford

St. Patrick's Catholic Church

Reina Day

RE/MAX Concepts

Teresa Ewins

Lincoln Police Department

Karen Flaxman

Community Board Member

Juan Carlos Huertas

First Plymouth Congregational Church

Ameeta Martin

UNMC & Children's Hospital

Tim McEwen

RBC Wealth Management

Amanda Ostergard

Senior Tax Accountant

Josh Midgett

Integrated Life Choices

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/15/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/30/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.