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“Just Can It!”

The Salvation Army is partnering with the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Greek students to raise awareness about homelessness in Omaha. Members of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity will participate in the annual “Just Can It!” event, Monday, April 16 through Friday, April 20. The students will sleep outside in cardboard boxes at the Crossroads Mall parking lot, 73rd & Dodge Streets., to raise awareness about homelessness.

A kick-off event is planned for today at 12 noon at the Crossroads Mall parking lot. Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and UNO Chancellor John Christensen are expected to attend along with Salvation Army representatives, collection partners, a rig from the Omaha Fire Department and media sponsor, Channel 94.1 with personalities from the Big Party Show. 


Recent research shows that many children and adults in our community do not have enough to eat.  This diminishes a child's ability to concentrate and learn in school.  Additionally adults who suffer from hunger and inadequate food supply find it more difficult to meet the expectations necessary to maintain employment.  "In our community (Omaha) hunger is not a game," said Joanne Bemis, divisional director of development and community relations.


UNO students will collect monetary and food donations throughout the week for The Salvation Army food pantry. The demand for food pantry assistance has risen by more than 36% compared to last year.  The goal this year is to collect 50,000 items. 


On Thursday afternoon, April 19, UNO students will be collecting donations at Hy-Vee, 90th & W. Center Road from 3:00 – 5:00 PM.  Mayflower will have a special race car on site.  Photo opportunities are available.


Food donations given to The Salvation Army in April will have Feinstein Foundation funds added to the total.  The more donations received through Just Can It and partners, the more of the Feinstein $1 million challenge grant The Salvation Army will receive.  These donations may include cash, checks or food items (valued at $1.00 per item or pound).  Our Just Can It donors will become our partners in one of the country’s most successful campaigns to fight hunger.


Donations of non-perishable food or money can be dropped off anytime at the Crossroads Mall parking lot that week. The public may also donate at the Hy-Vee store, 90th & W. Center Road (April 16-20) or dropped off at any neighborhood fire station during the month of April. 


The Salvation Army is especially in need of these non-perishable food items: cereal, boxed dinners, rice products, canned meat and fish, vegetables, tomato products, boxed macaroni and cheese, canned soups and stews and boxed cake/muffin mixes.

Event sponsors and collection partners include Hy-Vee, 90 & W. Center Rd., Journal Broadcast Group (Channel 94.1 FM), Mayflower, Mayor’s Office and City of Omaha departments, Omaha Fire Department, Douglas County Public Defender, Smith & Esch Fitness Systems, Crossroads Mall and UNO. Tenaska and neighboring Miracle Hills businesses and Certified Transmission locations plan to conduct friendly competitions to collect the most donations of food and cash.  Smith & Esch Fitness Systems will be hosting a grand opening at its new facility in Northwest Omaha and is supporting Just Can It on Saturday, Apr. 21 with a kettle bell challenge.


For more information, contact Ben Kaipust, Pi Kappa Alpha, at (402) 213.8893.




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