LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Throughout the school year the Food Bank of Lincoln is serving 5,000 to 6,000 families with school-aged kids, but during the summer months those numbers drop nearly in half.
Friday is the last day of school at Milford Elementary and for students that means a summer full of free time, but for parents, it leaves the question of a full stomach as so many kids rely on school for meals every day.
“There is absolutely a need. And that just helps our community and families not have to worry where their next meal is coming from,” Katie Wergin, the co-coordinator, Milford Backpack Program, said.
To help meet that need, Milford is teaming up with the Food Bank of Lincoln to send bags full of food home with kids every weekend. It’s something they do all school year but they’re continuing through the summer.
“Our Milford Kiwanis Club is Packing food bags for 17 students will start in June and end in August and that is a total of 11 weeks that we will be providing food to students,” Wergin said.
Milford is just one site out of handing out food to kids every weekend through the summer through the Food Bank’s Backpack Program. In total, the Food Bank delivers 275 backpacks a week across their service area.
“We know that during the summer months, it’s harder, you’re not at school to pick up that backpack. So we do offer that model where if you sign up, we will deliver a backpack home every week during the summer months,” Alynn Sampson with the Food Bank of Lincoln said.
In Lincoln, the Food Bank also provides free breakfast and lunch, no questions asked, for people 18 and under at 31 different elementary, middle and high school sites.
“Our goal is how can we make sure that we are as many places as possible so that families know we’re easily accessible?” Sampson said.
There will also be select sites in Lincoln continuing to offer ‘food markets’ with shelf-stable items at no cost to families once a month through the summer.
“Clinton, Roper and Park will also have food markets and… again, you don’t have to go to that school in order to go through that food market,” Sampson said.
The Food Bank is working to make food very accessible because of the strain they know this puts on families.
“We know it’s a lot. It’s a lot to all of the sudden, no, okay, we were getting schools, breakfast, lunch, snack time, maybe after school stuff,” Sampson said.
To learn more about available food resources for you or your family, visit the Food Bank of Lincoln’s website.
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