Hastings College Food4Thought

What is Food4Thought?

Food4Thought is a local, non-profit food assistance program that sends meals home over the weekend with elementary school students within the Hastings Public Schools.  These children qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, and their families may have limited access to food.  Though these children receive meals through the school during the week, they may not have sufficient access to meals over the weekend.  Food4Thought helps make sure that these students have something to eat before returning to school on Monday morning.  Food4Thought is one of three Hastings-based food assistance organizations that compose The Open Table in Hastings.

Who Runs Food4Thought?
Food4Thought is run by students at Hastings College, but most of it's operations are made possible by student and community volunteers. Food4Thought relies on volunteers to pack and deliver the meals each week and is funded by generous donations from community groups, organizations, and individuals, as well as local grants.  

What Does it Cost? 

Food4Thought sends home 4 different meals per month for each family it serves.  Each meal costs about $10. It costs approximately $200 to feed a child and his or her family for one semester, and $400 to feed a family for one school year. Our annual expenses for food and some overhead costs totals approximately $39,000. 

How Many Do You Serve? 

Currently, Food4Thought serves 100 families in the public elementary schools in Hastings.

Below is a breakdown of how many families we serve in each school:
  • Alcott: 16
  • Hawthorne: 19
  • Lincoln Elementary School: 22
  • Longfellow Elementary School: 20
  • Watson: 23
These numbers could be much larger given that according to the United States Census Bureau, 13.3% of the Hastings, Nebraska population is below the poverty level.  On average, 60% of the students in the Hastings Public School system (K-12) qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program.  Food4Thought serves just over 20% of those in need, and is always looking for opportunities to expand the program in ways its budget can sustain.