LINCOLN – Nearly 2,000 children in Southeast Nebraska will leave school today, Sept. 3, with more than homework in their backpacks. Through Food Bank of Lincoln’s Child Hunger Programs, these bags will also carry easy to prepare meals and snacks, such as canned soups, fresh fruits, cereals and boxed dinners.
Designed to nourish children and families through the weekend when school meals are unavailable, Food Bank of Lincoln’s BackPack Program provides food-filled backpacks to participating students every Friday during the school year. The program began in 2004 by serving 50 students and families at Clinton Elementary School in Lincoln and has grown to serving 1,984 students and families from 55 different schools each week this school year.
In addition to the BackPack Program, Food Bank of Lincoln aims to alleviate child hunger for the estimated 16,980 kids in Southeast Nebraska who may experience food insecurity this year, according to data from Feeding America, by operating Food Markets and Pantries at 34 schools, the LPS Emergency Pantry and the Student-Parent Voucher Program. Combined, Food Bank of Lincoln’s Child Hunger Programs will serve an estimated 6,500 students and their families each month during the 2021-22 school year.
Food Bank of Lincoln is grateful for the school partners, community organizations and volunteers, and generous supporters who help make its Child Hunger Programs possible.
It costs about $250 to provide one student with food-filled backpacks for an entire school year, and about $100 for one student to receive food from school Food Markets every month for the school year. To view a list of Food Market and Pantry locations, learn more or donate, visit lincolnfoodbank.org.