Feeding South Dakota opens school food pantry
RAPID CITY, S.D. – By now all of South Dakota’s children are back in school in every community across the state.
When you think back to school, classroom supplies like books, pencils and rulers often come to mind.
But for the 42 percent of South Dakota’s children who rely on free and reduced-cost school meals, it also means the beginning of a year where many will worry about where their next meal will come from.
Since 2006, Feeding South Dakota’s BackPack Program has supported school children in need of food assistance on weekends and long holidays when access to nutritious food is not often available.
This shelf stable package of food includes items such as cereal and milk, canned fruits and vegetables, entrees like soup and peanut butter along with some snacks providing on average 3.5 pounds of food, enough for one child.
While this program works well for the younger student, it has its limitations when serving older children: anonymity and not enough food to share with siblings and / or parents.
In recent years, the Feeding America network has continued its work to find ways of distributing more food to children through school food pantries.
The school pantries complement school breakfast and lunch programs, providing access to food for children and their families after the school day has ended.
They help to fill an important gap, relieving the burden and anxiety a family may face when they aren’t sure where their next meal may come from. And they help children to focus on their education, not hungry stomachs.
Feeding South Dakota is excited to announce a school food pantry program in partnership with the Rapid City Area Schools.
The food pantry will be open twice a month on Tuesdays from 3:30-6:00 p.m. and will be located in the Vocational Building to any family enrolled in RCAS.
“This school food pantry program wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of school administrators, teachers, and volunteers working together in response to the problem of childhood hunger,” says Jennifer Stensaas, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Feeding South Dakota.
A special thank you to the Riddle Family Foundation for their generous support in starter funds to ensure that children will continue to receive nutritious food through the school food pantry program.
Information from Feeding South Dakota