Community combats child hunger with 17th annual Extra Mile Walk

It’s not too late if you’d like to donate to the Extra Mile Walk! Please visit the Food Bank’s website at

Lincoln Public Schools students, families, staff and educators came together to help combat child hunger during the 17th annual Extra Mile Walk at East High School April 20. 

The LPS tradition is a partnership between the Food Bank of Lincoln with the goal of raising awareness and support for the nonprofit’s Backpack program. The donations also help aid the Food Bank’s food markets and pantries at LPS schools. 

“We‘re helping to bring elevated awareness that food insecurity doesn’t affect us all proportionally,” Food Bank of Lincoln President and CEO Michaella Kumke said. 

“Over the past 17 years, we have raised over $2.3 million for the hungry children and families in our community,” LPS Business Affairs Associate Superintendent Liz Standish said.

The LPS community demonstrated its commitment to the cause by raising about $130,200.  The dedication to the Extra Mile Walk from LPS employees like Nick Brown makes it largely successful. He and his friend went the extra mile literally to garner more donations with an approximate 12-mile trek to various LPS schools collecting food before the walk. They started their day at 5:30 a.m. from East, then hiked to Lefler Middle, Clinton Elementary and Northeast High schools, before returning to East. The two didn’t stop there, as they also participated in the actual walk later that morning. 

“Whenever there is a need in the community, I really feel it’s important for us as a community to come together,” Brown said. 

About 51% of LPS students participate in free and reduced lunch. The Food Bank reports nearly 4,250 LPS students and their families utilize food and fresh produce at its 31 school food market and pantry sites throughout the school district. The organization also notes that more than 1,110 students at 25 LPS schools receive food through its Backpack initiative every Friday during the academic year. 

Maxey Elementary School librarian Sheri Christen has seen the need firsthand and knows the power a meal has on a young person’s educational performance. She first saw the impacts of food insecurity and hunger as a former administrator at McPhee Elementary School.  

This knowledge is what has fueled her involvement in the annual walk for the past 16 years, including helping propel Maxey as the top elementary school donor for several years. Christen, who is retiring this year, says her passion will continue. 

“When this cause gets into your heart, you will do anything you can to support it,” Christen said. “I just have to make sure that there are people that have it in their heart that will continue it not only at Maxey, but we need that everywhere. We need it everywhere in the district and we need it everywhere across our city because that need is not at any one school or building. It's everywhere.”

Published: April 23, 2024, Updated: April 24, 2024

The Lincoln Public Schools community took steps against child hunger at the 17th annual Extra Mile Walk April 20.

2024 Extra Mile Walk Donation Results

Total raised between schools, departments and sponsors: $130,200.89

Top Department

LPSDO – Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment - $3,375.46

Top Elementary School

Maxey Elementary School - $11,076.37

Top Middle School

Culler Middle School - $2,804.00

Top High School

Standing Bear High School - $873.69