SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — One out of every six children in South Dakota is at risk for going hungry. This is especially apparent during the summer, when those under 18 aren’t guaranteed a hot meal every day.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture kicks off their Summer Food Service Program this week. With the goal to get every kid a fresh, well-balanced meal at the most important times of the day.
The South Dakota Department for Education Administers the program across the state through several non-profits: one of these being the Boys & Girls Club of the Sioux Empire,
“During the school year, the school district really takes care of a lot of that with serving kids breakfast, lunch in the afternoon. During the summertime, those kids go without having a meal lots of times,” CEO Rebecca Wimmer said.
They’ll be offering breakfast and lunch at their 14th Street location. With their other spots handling the afternoon meals.
“Our Horizon location will be offering a snack from 2:30 to 3:30, and dinner from 5:30 to 6:30 Monday through Friday as well,” Director of Operations Billy Mawhiney said
Giving kids a variety of foods, hitting all the important groups.
“We can have, sometimes, hot dogs, we always have a fruit or vegetable, we can have lasagna, I think, we have… lots of good foods,” Kingston Fabion said.
“We really spend a lot of education talking about what healthy choices can be, what options they can have, what they’re seeing on their plate: so they’re seeing fruits, they’re seeing vegetables, and they’re seeing proteins, and they’re seeing even some carbohydrates. We try to file along what ‘My Plate’ kind of has for a guideline,” Mawhiney said.
Because it’s important for every kid, no matter what age, to eat right.
“Because if they didn’t they wouldn’t have strong muscles when they grow up and they’d be starving by the time they got home,” Fabion said.
“It doesn’t matter who you are; if you are a child under the age of 18 or if you’re a parent and have children under the age of 18 and you need a meal for them, you can just come in and ask for a meal and we’ll make sure that your child gets fed,” Wimmer said.
The program goes up until the start of the next school year.