SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls School District handed out more than 90,000 meals from the middle of March to the middle of May. Because of the pandemic, the school district had to get creative with how it distributed meals.
The program served 15 elementary schools, plus middle and high school students living in those areas. Children from ages one through 18 were able to receive meals.
Joni Davis is the Child Nutrition Director for the SFSD. She says serving these lunches was a part of a USDA program. Waivers made it possible to not require the congregational part of the project.
“That led us to have these wonderful opportunities for distribution that were the grab and go and the drive ups. So, we did those at the six sites, and then that carried through also so that we could distribute meals on buses. And we had those 16 bus routes around the city that went on Tuesdays and Thursdays and had over 100 drops,” Davis said.
The breakfasts and lunches were distributed at the sites on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The waivers still apply during the summer program that runs from June 1 through August 14.
“That’s one of the big differences as we move into the summer program, which we would have had, but how we can operate it differently. So, we’re going to continue with the sites that we were now this past 11 weeks, and then we’ve added the food service center. It’ll be a grab by, so if they come out here to the Western Avenue site they can just drive by and we would have sacks for them,” Davis said.
Davis says providing meals to students throughout the year is important for a multitude of reasons.
“We truly believe that kids need to have good meals to be able to function, whether that be during the school year or during the summer or at any point. We’re really looking at education and feeding being a key part to that to help them succeed,” Davis said.
There will be seven sites this summer that will operate Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Laura B. Anderson Elementary: 1600 N Wayland Place
- Hawthorne Elementary: 601 N Spring Avenue
- Hayward Elementary: 400 N Valley View Road
- Anne Sullivan Elementary: 3701 E 3rd Street
- Terry Redlin Elementary: 1721 E Austin Street
- Lowell Elementary: 710 W 18th Street
- Food Service Center: Near N Western Ave. and W Madison St.