Another successful year for BackPack Walk

Lincoln Public Schools employees and students raised $205,452 - and counting - this year, as well as approximately $1.74 million over the past decade to support the community's children through the annual BackPack Extra Mile Walk, held this year on April 28 at Lincoln East High School.

"That $205,000 dollars came from all across the city and all across the school district and we are so proud to be part of Lincoln Public Schools today and everyday," said Liz Standish, associate superintendent for Business Affairs, to the crowd.

"I often say we have a community with the highest of expectations for student outcomes, but we also have a community that is willing to roll up their sleeves and help," added LPS Superintendent Steve Joel.

The fundraiser helps support the Food Bank of Lincoln’s generous BackPack initiative, which provides a weekly Friday 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 

Top school efforts

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

Winners for the Garner challenge in order: 

  • Culler Middle School
  • Everett Elementary School
  • Norwood Park Elementary School
  • Saratoga Elementary School
  • North Star High School
  • Kloefkorn Elementary School

Please help us spread the word about this valuable program. 

  • 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. 
  • 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. There are 5,535 of the 7,826 elementary school children who qualify for free lunch not receiving backpacks.
  • 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.

Published: April 30, 2018, Updated: May 3, 2018

"That $205,000 came from all across the city and all across the school district and we are so proud to be part of Lincoln Public Schools today and everyday."

Liz Standish, LPS associate superintendent for Business Affairs