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LPS staff, students raise money for community's hungry

BackPack Extra Mile Walk 2019 on April 27 raised more than $180,000 to help ease hunger in our community, which means in 12 years of the event Lincoln Public Schools employees and students have raised almost $2 million for the BackPack Program.

“Lincoln Public Schools believes in giving back – for what our community gives to us,” LPS Superintendent Steve Joel said at the event Saturday at Lincoln East High School, noting we have provided countless children with backpacks of food to keep their families fed over the weekends.

The BackPack program is a partnership with the Food Bank of Lincoln, providing a weekly backpack filled with food for students who need help in having enough to eat over the weekend.

“We want to express our gratitude to LPS schools, teachers, students, administrators and staff,” said Scott Young, executive director of the Food Bank.  “These are all of our children.”

There are two major goals for the annual walk:

  • Educating our community about the needs of children at Lincoln Public Schools
  • Raising money for this valuable program
Photo of students holding a banner that says "Kindness is Giving to Others"

BackPack Extra Mile Walk set for 10 a.m. April 27, 2019

About the Walk

The 12th annual Lincoln Public Schools BackPack Extra Mile Walk is set for 10 a.m. (some fun festivities begin earlier) for April 27, 2019, at Lincoln East High School.

In 11 years of walking, LPS employees have raised over $1.75 million for the Food Bank of Lincoln’s generous BackPack initiative, which provides a weekly backpack filled with food for students who need help in having enough to eat over the weekend.

There are two major goals for the annual walk:

  • Educating our community about the needs of children at Lincoln Public Schools
  • Raising money for this valuable program

The BackPack Committee

The walk is organized by the BackPack Committee with the help of the LPS Business Affairs Leadership team. The team includes Mindy Burbach, Sue Cassata, DeAnn Currin, Gary Czapla, Jess Jefferson, Jason Keese, Pat Hunter-Pirtle, John Neal, May Kay Roth, Kim Schmidt, Cindy Schwaninger, Liz Standish and Greg Tebo from Lincoln Public Schools and Connie Gernhart, Michaella Kumke, John Mabry, Alynn Sampson and Scott Young from the Food Bank.

Top School Efforts in 2018

  • Top elementary school: Maxey
  • Top middle school: Lux
  • Top high school: East

Please Help us Spread the Word About this Valuable Program

The Origin

The Food Bank of Lincoln launched the BackPack Program during the 2004-2005 school year at Clinton Elementary School, sending home food-filled backpacks on Friday afternoons with 50 kids.

A Simple Concept

Children are our most important and valuable assets, and research shows that healthy, well-nourished children are much better learners. During the week, our students who qualify for free and reduced lunches are provided nutritious breakfasts and lunches at school. In fact, for some students, the school’s breakfast and lunch are their only meals of the day.  But during the weekend this can create a food crisis for these children and their families: a weekend can be a long time to go without food.

Current Numbers

Each month, approximately 3,967 LPS students at 42 schools receive food support through the Food Bank’s Child Hunger Programs, including the BackPack Program and Food Markets. Additionally, an average of 143 families visit the LPS Emergency Pantry.

Price Tag

It costs about $250 for each student to receive a backpack for a year.  This includes all essential program costs involved with distributing BackPacks.

Need Grows

The need continues to grow dramatically:

This school year 18,014 of LPS students — 46 percent of all LPS students (K-12)—qualify for free and reduced lunch.

Children who live in poverty face tougher odds for achievement than other children.

Children who live in poverty for at least half their childhoods are 90 percent more likely to leave high school without a diploma and four times more likely to be an unwed teen parent when compared with people who were never poor as a child.

Location and Date

Location and Date

The 2019 Backpack Extra Mile Walk will happen Saturday, April 27th at 10 a.m. at East High School near 70th and A streets.

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