Lincoln, NE -- Nebraskans will come together to stock the shelves of their local food pantries when the 10/11 and NBC Nebraska Can Care-a-Van returns, June 6th – 11th. This year’s event is being held in memory of Joanne Komenda, the long-time coordinator and co-founder of the Can Care-a-Van who passed away last year. Can Care-a-Van started in 1988 when Joanne and former KOLN/KGIN General Manager Frank Jonas worked together for Farm Aid. Since then, her efforts and those of the entire 10/11 staff have resulted in more than 4 million pounds of food collected for pantries around Nebraska.
“Can Care-a-Van is a long-standing tradition our stations and our staff are honored to continue,” said Susan Ramsett, General Manager of 10/11 and NBC Nebraska. “In addition to collecting donations for area food pantries, our goal is to increase awareness of how many Nebraskans struggle to feed their families.”
During the week of Can Care-a-Van, 10/11 and NBC Nebraska news personalities will help collect donations for pantries in the communities of Lincoln, Superior, Sutton, Aurora, Ord, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Columbus, North Platte, Geneva, York, and Beatrice. Additional collections will be held in Loup City, Neligh, Nebraska City, and Lexington.
Outstanding community volunteers will also be recognized at some of the towns along the Can Care-a-Van route with the Joanne Komenda Memorial Spirit Award. This year, the awards are being given to individuals and groups who embody Joanne’s giving spirit and dedication to helping Nebraskans in need.
The 10/11 and NBC Nebraska Can Care-a-Van Kick Off event is scheduled for Friday, June 3 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Hy-Vee at 70th & Pioneers in Lincoln. 10/11 and KX96.9 will be broadcasting live from the event. Collection barrels will remain in all Lincoln Hy-Vee stores for the entire week of Can Care-a-Van. All donations collected at the kick off and in the barrels will benefit the Food Bank of Lincoln.
This will be the second year that Black Hills Energy has partnered with 10/11 and NBC Nebraska for the Can Care-a-Van. “With our recent expansion, we now serve nearly 300 communities in Nebraska, including many the Can Care-A-Van will visit,” said Jeff Sylvester, Vice President of Nebraska Gas Operations. “We’re committed to all the towns we serve and that naturally extends to those new communities. We’re all about improving life with energy, whether it’s the energy in food, the energy in natural gas or the energy of our employee volunteers.”
Further information about Can-Care-A-Van can be found at www.1011now.com, www.nbcneb.com, and www.knopnews2.com including a complete schedule and most-needed items for each stop.
History of the 10/11 Can Care-a-Van:
The Can Care-a-Van began in 1988, stemming from the national “Farm Aid” effort. It began as a 12-day food drive, but was shortened to a six-day drive in 1998. Since its creation, the Can Care-a-Van has visited numerous towns in southeast and central Nebraska, AND in northern Kansas (also in the KOLN/KGIN coverage area). Last year, the Can Care-a-Van collected 211,645 lbs.