By: Lauren Fabrizi
The Food Bank of Lincoln's Backpack Program is celebrating 10 years. Founders and donors alike were honored Thursday for their continued support.
Nancy Ganser, one of the founders, was at the celebration. She said she remembers being at Clinton Elementary 10 years ago, handing out backpacks to children for the first time.
From then on, she said the program has taken on a world of its own.
"It makes me cry whenever I think about it because it's just wonderful, because there's so many individual stories of the children," Ganser said. "They're so excited and so appreciative."
From 50 food–filled backpacks on that first day to 3,500 backpacks handed out every Friday, the program has certainly grown. It provides children, and in some cases, their family with something to eat over the weekend.
Thursday, those responsible for starting up the program, as well as those who have supported it from the start were honored.
"None of this could have been imagined at the onset," Scott Young of the Food Bank said. "We had no idea that we could grow the program to this extent."
Food Bank officials said although the Backpack Program has made great strides, they hope to support even more children in the future.
But they said the program wouldn't be where it is now without the continued support of its donors.
"It makes me realize what a great city we live in, what a great community Lincoln, Nebraska, is," Ganser said. "That people here care about other people so much."
Food Bank officials said they are looking to expand their children's hunger program. They hope to find new ways to serve low–income families.