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Summer Backpack Program Starts Friday

July 15, 2010, 5:03 PM by Kealey Bultena

Summer Backpack Program Starts Friday
SIOUX FALLS, SD - A local program thousands of children rely on has been on hold for months, but help has arrived so the backpack program can extend beyond the school year.

It's been about two months since kids in Sioux Falls got out of school for summer, but an effort that makes sure children have food to eat during vacation hasn't had funding.  That is, until now.

Now the food bank's extending the program into summer. The backpack program sends bags of food home with kids during the school year, so they have something to eat through the weekend.

"This is the next step. It's been where we've been needing to go to fill that summer gap," program coordinator Jennifer Stensaas said.

Until this week, the Food Bank didn't have the funding. Now, the United Way has stepped up to help, and federal grants the program has been waiting on came through Wednesday. Starting July 16, local children will once again get some much needed help.

"If you think about it, these kids don't even get to go eat lunch at school, and that's the one thing that kept them going all school year was the breakfast and the lunch and the backpack program," Stensaas said.

With half of summer vacation over, the funding couldn't have come soon enough. 

"Better late than never. We've been waiting. We've got the money. We're going to get it going, and now there will be no gap from here until when school starts. We've got it all covered," Stensaas said.

It may not look like much, but each of the bags makes a big difference to a child in need. 

The backpack program can still use donations. Visit Feeding South Dakota's website to find ways to help.

Kids can pick up food at the nine locations you see listed below. No one who asks will be turned away.

LOCATION JULY 16 JULY 23 JULY 30 AUG. 6 AUG. 13 AUG. 20 AUG. 27
Annie Sullivan 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m.    
Terry Redlin 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m.    
Hawthorne 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m.    
Hayward 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m.    
Laura B. Anderson 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m.    
Central Services 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m.        
Downtown YWCA 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m.    
YWCA (South) 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. TBA TBA
Feeding SD Food Pantry 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 11:30 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. 3:00 -4:30 p.m. 3:00 -4:30 p.m.

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