SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An organization formed to help ensure kids get a hot lunch at school in Sioux Falls is shifting gears. Hungry Hearts says there are other needs, and now they are focusing on the classroom to help teachers and their students.
For six years, Hungry Hearts, formed by Mark Fonder and Jesse Severson of the Barrel House Restaurant, has been making sure kids in school get a hot meal.
“Between our partnership with the school district and a few other programs here in town, the community has really stepped up and helped with that hot food program, making sure everybody gets a nice hot lunch. So it’s time to see what else they need,” said Severson.
According to the National Education Association, 90 percent of teachers spend money out of their own pockets on classroom supplies and filling the gaps when kids don’t have what they need. From pencils and markers to backpacks and notebooks
“So basically, we are still collecting donations, monetary donations, and then we go out and purchase supplies, and we give them to Axtell Park, and then that’s where they, the social workers and counselors, and they can distribute it to the kids that need it,” said Fonder.
Both Severson and Fonder credit others for stepping up and donating.
“Myself and Mark are just the vessel. The community is the one that does it, it’s not our money. We just raise it for them, but it is the communities money, and the community is going to be the one benefits from giving to our children who out future workforce our future leaders,” said Severson.
“We are just trying to make sure that we can help out the kids any way we can,” said Fonder.