Youth & Family
An estimated 14,900 children, age 18 and younger, who live in Southeast Nebraska are considered food insecure. The Food Bank of Lincoln and its partners bring hope and nutritious food to around 6,500 students and families each month. We serve Lincoln-area schools as well as 28 rural communities in our 16-county service area.
Our Child Hunger Programs include:
• BackPack Program
• School Food Markets and Pantries
• LPS Emergency Pantry
• Student-Parent Voucher Program
• Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Please Note: We have to purchase most of the food for our Child Hunger Programs. Therefore, monetary gifts are the best way to provide much-needed food to children and their families in our service area.
Serves 2,068 students weekly
The BackPack Program began during the 2004-05 school year at Clinton Elementary School, sending home food-filled backpacks on Friday afternoons with 50 kids. The program quickly took off. Today, this program has grown and serves around 2,000 children and their families.
The program seeks to help students who qualify for their school’s Free or Reduced Lunch Programs by providing a food-filled backpack to the child and family over the weekend or during a school break. The BackPack Program is a way to help these students and their families until students return to school where they know they can have breakfast or lunch.
Each year for more than 15 years, LPS and Food Bank of Lincoln, along with community partners, have teamed up to present the Extra Mile Walk, a fundraiser for the Child Hunger Programs in Lincoln. Learn more here.
Donation Impact: It costs about $250 for one student to receive weekly backpacks for an entire school year. Donate now.
School Food Markets and School Pantries
Serves about 4,105 students monthly
School Food Markets and School Pantries aim to provide a variety of nutritious, healthy foods to children and families for consumption in their homes. Our goal is to work with schools and community partners to distribute that food in a safe, easily accessible environment.
Menu-specific items are delivered to local schools and are supplemented by a limited number of donated goods, bakery items and fresh produce as those items are available. Each school allows all students, parents of students, and school staff to walk through the market and select food based on the allocated amount.
This market model removes the stigma of needing help and supports client-choice, offering dignity and compassion to the people we serve.
Some schools are a better fit as a School Pantry site. This is a scaled back version of a School Food Market that includes the Food Bank delivering shelf-stable and fresh produce items to schools. Teachers and advisors provide food to students and families as needed.
Donation Impact: It costs about $100 for one student to get market food each month for an entire school year. The cost to fund a single School Food Market with 200 students is about $2,000. Donate now.
LPS Emergency Pantry
In response to the high need of students and their families experiencing hunger, the Food Bank, in cooperation with Leadership Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools, opened the LPS Emergency Pantry.
Any LPS or private school family can come to the pantry to receive food assistance. The amount of food families can have is based on family size.
The pantry is located at Bryan Community School (300 S. 48th St.) and is open Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 3-5:30 p.m.
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Children need good nutrition all year long. When school is out during the summer months, many children no longer have access to even one nutritious meal each day. Summer Meal Programs help fill the gap.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally-funded, state-administered program that aims to provide nutritious meals to children in low-income areas during the summer months when school is not in session. Our goal is to ensure that children get nutritious food during the summer months so they are ready to learn during the school year.
The Food Bank of Lincoln, in partnership with numerous community partners and the USDA, sponsors free summer food sites that are open to the public and operate in low-income areas where at least 50 percent of children residing in the area are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals. Interested in learning more about being a free summer food site? Click here.