Feeding America

Community partners come together to fight childhood hunger this summer

Community partners come together to fight childhood hunger this summer


Community partners come together to fight childhood hunger this summer

New pilot program will help more kids get access to food


Sioux Falls, SD (May 31, 2017) – During the school year, more than 30 schools in the Sioux Falls School District receive BackPacks on a weekly basis. When classrooms empty for the summer, access to school meals is limited. Statistics show that only one in seven children who ate free or reduced lunch during the school year also have the opportunity to participate in a summer meal program. This adds further strain to families who are already struggling to put food on the table.

Across the Sioux Falls community, eleven free summer feeding sites are being offered in partnership with the Sioux Falls School District (hosting eight sites), Embe (hosting two sites), and The Boys and Girls Club (hosting one site).  The Brandon School District will also host its first summer feeding site at Brandon Elementary this year.  Feeding South Dakota is partnering with each of these sites to provide BackPacks to children in need during the summer months.  These bags of food are being funded thanks to the generosity of Celebrate Community Church.  Feeding South Dakota will be distributing BackPacks on Fridays at the sites participating in the Summer Food Service Program beginning Friday, June 9th (Brandon Elementary BackPacks will be delivered on Thursdays). Anyone under the age of 18 can eat free lunch Monday—Friday at these sites.

Feeding South Dakota is also launching a new pilot program this summer to provide additional children with access to food.  During the school year, the organization provides more than 3,400 bags of food each week to children in need through the BackPack Program.  That number drops drastically to an average of 500 children a week during the summer months.  To help increase this number, Feeding South Dakota is partnering with the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation to distribute bags of food via a mobile truck.  The truck will travel to locations across the community as well as to Harrisburg and Tea to reach additional children in need.  The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation is also providing funds to advertise these locations as well as the summer feeding sites across the community to create awareness about the program and hopefully get additional children access to food.  The goal of the project is to double the number of children served through the BackPack Program during the summer, serving an additional 500 children. 

Media/Video Opportunity:

The media is invited to a formal press conference on Thursday, June 1st at 10:00am at Celebrate Community Church located at 1000 S Sycamore Ave in Sioux Falls.  Additional details about the childhood hunger needs, free feeding site locations, and mobile distribution logistics and locations will be provided at this time.  The BackPack Mobile Truck will be on site for video/photo opportunities. 

Representatives speaking at the press conference include:

Matt Gassen, CEO Feeding South Dakota
Celebrate Community Church representative
Andy Patterson, President Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation
Jamie Nold, Assistant Superintendent Sioux Falls School District
Janet Kittams-Lalley, Executive Director Helpline Center will be available for interviews


About Feeding South Dakota

Feeding South Dakota is the state’s largest charitable hunger relief organization whose mission is to eliminate hunger in South Dakota with distribution centers in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City. In 2016, Feeding South Dakota secured and distributed over 13.5 million pounds of quality nutritious donated and purchased food providing 11.3 million meals to individuals in need.  Feeding South Dakota is able to distribute this food through its network of over 350 charitable organizations across the state. These organizations then provide this food to individuals who are “food insecure” through youth programs, senior centers, on-site feeding programs, emergency food pantries, after school programs, and homeless shelters.  For more information on Feeding South Dakota, please visit www.feedingsouthdakota.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.


Feeding South Dakota Contact:

Kerri DeGraff
Development Director
605.335.0364 extension 106 

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