A minivan pulls into line at the Mobile BackPack distribution at Miller Park Elementary. Amanda and Stephen are inside with their three children. Soon after the COVID-19 pandemic began, they lost their jobs and have been struggling to find steady work since. They are in line with other families at Miller Park in Omaha to pick up nutritious meals for their children at the drive-through distribution.
Masked volunteers open the trunk and thank the family for coming. They load a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, fresh produce and cold milk for each child.
“It allows that part of the budget to go elsewhere, and we get a good variety of food on the table,” Amanda said. “It really helps when trying to balance being a teacher, parent, and kitchen aid all at once. It’s a definite blessing.”
Food Bank for the Heartland swiftly launched the Mobile BackPack program on March 20, 2020, with partners in Omaha and Council Bluffs to provide meals for children in need after schools closed. The program was at 18 sites and distributed 421,175 critical meals by its conclusion on August 7, 2020.