Backpack program offers weekend meals for kids in need

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Feeding South Dakota has just launched its Back Pack Program.

Katie Taylor is enjoying a lunch with her family at Hawthorne Elementary before they head to the park.

“Well I think the biggest thing is, you know having three kids home for lunch every day, you know it gets pretty expensive. So it definitely—it helps out in that aspect. And you know, not having to plan lunch every day and knowing that we can come, and they can have a good meal,” Taylor said.

Taylor and her kids also use the backpack program to help with meals over the weekend.

“That’s really cool actually, and you know that way if I need something to go with dinner, there’s usually vegetables out there, and on Thursdays since they don’t have the program on Fridays, we can grab a bag and have lunch already ready to go,” Taylor said.

The backpack program puts together sacks of non perishable items which are then delivered to school cafeterias.

“I think my favorite is frosted flakes,” Jordan Taylor said.

“Our hope is that we can provide items like cereal and canned vegetables, canned fruit, and milk options to our kids, and some entrees, too, so that they’ll have at least about three to four meals to eat over the weekend,” Jennifer Stensaas, communications coordinator at Feeding South Dakota said.

Volunteers play a crucial role in making sure meals get to families in need.

“During the week the kids have access to the free breakfast and lunch program at schools but what happens to them when they go home on the weekends? So we need to find those ways to connect with kids and their families to give them that little bit of extra over the weekend,” Stensaas said.

Several communities in the state have backpack programs, including Pierre and Rapid City.

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