Youth & Family
An estimated 18,740 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 over 5,000 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:
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 2,292 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 nearly 2,300 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 10 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 3,691 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 hungry students and their families, the Food Bank, in cooperation with Leadership Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools, opened the LPS Emergency Pantry.
Any LPS family or Catholic School family can come to the pantry to receive food assistance. The amount of food families can have is based on family size.
*Please Note: Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, including the limitation of community members allowed inside Lincoln Public Schools (LPS), the Food Bank is pausing Child Hunger programs in LPS. This includes the BackPack Program, School Food Markets and LPS Emergency Pantry. The Student-Parent Voucher Program will operate as scheduled. Instead, the Food Bank will continue to provide food assistance to all those in need at mobile food distributions held six days a week, Monday through Saturday, at different locations across Lincoln.