Feeding America

Building Hunger Solutions Since 1982

Our Mission: To alleviate hunger in Southeast Nebraska.

Our Values: Compassion, Collaboration, Responsibility, Education, Diversity

Just two decades ago, people only went to food pantries for short-term, emergency situations. Today, food assistance is essential for many people when there’s more month than money.

Background

The Food Bank of Lincoln officially opened its doors on August 16, 1982. In 1983, the first full year of operations, the Food Bank distributed 405,988 pounds of food—approximately 317,170 meals—out of a space the size of a small garage. Operations have moved two times since then, and during fiscal year 2022, the Food Bank connected neighbors to more than 9 million meals.

The Need

The Food Bank serves 16 counties in Southeast Nebraska. In these counties, an estimated 49,810 neighbors, including 14,900 children, struggle with food insecurity. As we reflect on our history and prepare for the next 40 years, we remain committed to providing all our neighbors in Southeast Nebraska with equitable access to nutritious food.

Our History

During the first 20 years of the Food Bank’s operation, donations were inventoried one item or case at a time. Agency partners selected products and “checked out” by weighing items box by box. More efficient inventory and data systems were introduced in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

1980s

1982

The Food Bank of Lincoln, Inc. opened its doors at 3642 Adams St., a small garage-sized building.

1983

The Food Bank’s first full operating year resulted in 405,988 pounds of food or approximately 317,170 meals.

1986

The Food Bank moved to a new location, 57th and Russell Drive, which was approximately 7,000 sq. ft.

1990s

1997

The organization moved to its third and present location, 4840 Doris Bair Circle, with nearly triple the space.

2000s

2001

The Food Bank hired Scott Young as Executive Director.

2004-2005

BackPack Program launched at Clinton Elementary School, serving 50 children.

2008

The Food Bank Board made a conscious effort to “step on the gas” during the recession, rather than adopting a conservative stance.

2010s

2010

The Food Bank hired its first SNAP (Food Stamp) Outreach worker.

2011

The first School Food Market was held, serving 117 students at Lincoln High School.

2012

The Food Bank began leasing 17,000 sq. ft. to house its growing Child Hunger Programs and the Vocational Opportunities in Community Experience Program, now Independence Academy.

2014

With a focus on shortening food lines, the Food Bank added Bridges Out of Poverty to its educational programs.

2019

Lincoln Fresh launched and distributed 108,647 pounds of fresh produce to 12,985 people in low-income areas in its inaugural year.

2020s

2020

Connected neighbors to more than 11.5 million meals, which included our single-largest month of meals in response to COVID-19.

2021

After serving as the Food Bank of Lincoln’s Executive Director for nearly 20 years, Scott Young retired.  The Board of Directors selected Michaella Kumke to lead the Food Bank as President and CEO.

Connected neighbors to 13.3 million meals, a record for the Food Bank of Lincoln.

2022

After a capital campaign to raise over $10 million for the construction of a modern and more efficient facility, the Food Bank of Lincoln moves to its fourth location, 1221 Kingbird Rd. The new facility will enable the Food Bank to connect more people to more meals, increase access to healthy food and shorten food lines.

Alleviating Hunger in Southeast Nebraska

There are an estimated 49,810 food-insecure people living in the 16 counties we serve, 14,900 of them are kids under the age of 18. The Food Bank of Lincoln works to help deliver a sense of safety, security and relief when neighbors in Southeast Nebraska open their refrigerator or cupboard.

Mobile Food Distributions

Free food transported to our neighbors, especially veterans and seniors, facing hunger in Lincoln and rural communities across the 9,300 square miles of Southeast Nebraska.

Child Hunger Programs

Schools offer a natural opportunity to provide kids with access to food. Through BackPack Programs, School Food Markets and School Pantry Programs, we connect children and families to meals.

Partner Agencies

Through a network of 50+ nonprofit and community partners, we connect neighbors to meals. Thanks to our partner agencies, we are able to distribute food free of charge to people in need.

Federal Food Programs

We work diligently to manage a portion of these federal food programs: Commodity Supplemental Food Program, Summer Food Service Program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the food stamp program.

Educational Workshops

Training opportunities like “Bridges Out of Poverty” workshops and “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’ By World” classes are offered to increase financial and emotional stability for individuals and families.

40 Stories for 40 Years

As we celebrate our 40th anniversary and prepare for the next 40 years, we remain committed to providing all our neighbors in Southeast Nebraska with equitable access to nutritious food.

Liz Bavitz: By Design

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Donna Bolz: A Long Time Friend

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Gina Long & the Auburn BackPack Program

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Suzanne Bartlett: Starting the Day with Suzanne

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Kathleen Grossman: Filling Empty Bowls for 20 Years

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James Reilly: Fresh Food and Fresh Recipes

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Dr. Simpson-Kirkland: Helping Lincoln Students

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Frank Condello: Volunteer for Decades

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Rich Bailey: 40 Years Kind of Friend

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Southwood Shares Passion for Service

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