Pancakes for dinner is a tradition in Jessica’s family. The small dignity of choosing what to have for dinner, or to have dinner at all, was out of reach for Jessica and her two children, Trinity and Logan, for too many meals. Now, Jessica doesn’t have to worry about being able to provide dinner. She gets about 25 percent of her monthly groceries from the food distribution at Lincoln Center Elementary, where her kids go to school and one of 16 schools participating in Food + You, a Second Harvest Heartland school-based program.

When Trinity and Logan have full bellies, they can focus and learn at school. When Jessica isn’t hungry, she’s able to focus on taking care of her children and pursuing her nursing degree. They’re all able to sleep better at night, knowing that they’ll have breakfast in the morning and the fuel they need to learn, grow and be their best selves. 

Just over 655,000 meals were distributed to local schools during the 2017-2018 school year. In 2019, we’ll continue to focus on increasing access to sustainable federally funded food sources, such as SNAP and school meal programs. We’re excited to support our school and district partners in implementing innovative school meal service models, such as Breakfast in the Classroom, that increase student participation and decrease stigma by making breakfast a regular part of the school day.