BackPack Program provides nourishment for children during the summer months
Sioux Falls, SD (June 8, 2021) – When classrooms empty for the summer, access to the USDA’s free or reduced school meals is limited. Nationally, statistics show that only one in seven children who eat a free or reduced lunch during the school year also have the opportunity to participate in a summer meal program. In South Dakota that equates to approximately 11,000 children of the more than 77,000 children who qualify for free or reduced lunch in our state (using 2019/2020 data.) This adds further strain to families who are already struggling to put food on the table.
Feeding South Dakota will distribute packages of nutritious and shelf-stable food through the Summer BackPack Program to children under age 18 at risk of going hungry during the summer months. Below is a listing of distribution sites, days, and times that the food is available for pickup.
“It is our hope that the Summer BackPack Program compliments the efforts of the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). We want to help every child who needs food assistance, in our service area, to have access to nutritious food; not only during the week, but also on the weekends throughout the summer months,” said Jennifer Stensaas, Communications Coordinator.
The Summer BackPack Program provides easy-to-prepare food options like cereal, soup, canned vegetables, granola bars, fruit cups, graham crackers, canned pasta entrées, and milk to children in need of food over the weekends. Feeding South Dakota starts the summer providing a total of 6,795 packages of food to children in Pierre, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls with the intention to distribute to more children throughout the summer months as the need dictates. There are no qualifications to receive the food assistance and no paperwork is required. Children must be present to receive the food.
Please visit www.feedingsouthdakota.org/summerbp for the most up-to-date distribution information as some details may change over the summer months.
The Summer BackPack Program is funded thanks to a grant generously given by the Capital Area United Way in Pierre along with many generous donors in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and their surrounding areas.
About Feeding South Dakota
Feeding South Dakota, whose mission is to end hunger in South Dakota, is the state’s largest charitable hunger relief organization. In FY20, Feeding South Dakota secured and distributed nearly 16.7 million pounds of quality nutritious donated and purchased food providing nearly 14 million meals to nearly 100,000 individuals who are food insecure in South Dakota. Feeding South Dakota distributes this food from distribution centers in Sioux Falls, Pierre, and Rapid City and through its network of agency partners across the state. For more information on Feeding South Dakota, visit feedingsouthdakota.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.