“Beef-to-School” program supplies more than 30K pounds of meat to West River schools
RAPID CITY, S.D. — It’s the third year for Wall Meats’ “Beef-to-School” program and they’re going strong.
Co-owner Ken Charfauros says he heard about the idea from a governor’s summit, and brought the idea to the Wall Economic and Ag Committee. Schools across western South Dakota are taking notice.
“We have 16 schools on board,” Charfauros says. “We process…probably this year we did 30,000 pounds of beef to our schools.”
They’ve worked with nearly 70 producers on the community effort.
“I think it’s important for the schools one, because it’s of course local protein, and for the producers it helps them also be able to give to their community and provide for the kids,” says Ken’s nephew, Dan Charfauros, a plant manager-in-training.
Family-run Wall Meats says there’s an economic benefit as well.
“Our producers get involved with their community by donating beef, or we can purchase [that] beef from producers that are willing to sell us beef for the ‘Beef to School’ program,” Charfauros adds. “That keeps the economy right here; or the revenue right here in the local area.”
Charfauros says schools are not just providing healthier meals, but saving money as well.
“They would purchase beef product from us…or protein…and then the savings that they can get, they can channel that to other foods within the school; they can buy fresher vegetables, fresher fruits,” Charfauros says.
Wall Meats is looking to expand the program, and already have more interested schools.