The Black Hills Area Community Foundation is awarding several thousand dollars in grants to three area school districts that provide free, well-balanced meals to children — and often parents and grandparents too — during the summer months.
While the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program reimburses schools and other youth programs for meals served to kids under the age of 18, the SFSP does not provide funding for meals served to accompanying adults, many of whom are also food insecure. In response, the Black Hills Area Community Foundation has been at the forefront working with local organizations to help alleviate hunger among family members as well.
BHACF is awarding a $7,500 Food Security Grant to Rapid City Area Schools to cover the cost of meals for parents and guardians who accompany kids under 18 to summer food sites.
Since March, RCAS has offered breakfast and lunch curbside to kids two to three times per week at several schools in the district and provided additional meals for “off” days. RCAS Nutrition Services will follow a similar schedule for curbside meal delivery this summer at 10 school sites. Adult meals will become available starting June 1. (Visit rcas.org for distribution times and locations.)
The Meade School District has received $5,000 from the BHACF Albert and LaVerne Elliott Fund for parent/guardian meals that are distributed along with meals for kids under the age of 18. MSD is delivering hot lunches curbside at Sturgis Elementary between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. weekdays through July 31.
BHACF also is awarding a $5,000 Food Security Grant to the Custer School District to help offset transportation costs for food delivery to students in rural parts of the district. United Way of the Black Hills is matching those funds for a total impact of $10,000.
In addition, Meals on Wheels Western South Dakota, another community collaborator addressing food security issues, is partnering with all three school districts this summer. MoW will reimburse the districts for meals served to adults 60 and over who are present when kids receive their food.
Since 2017, BHACF has been home to the Collective Impact Food Security Initiative, the purpose of which is to identify food security challenges and develop community-wide solutions to meet those needs. This “big picture” strategy has proven especially useful in recent weeks, as BHACF and others work together to determine how resources can be best utilized. For more information on the Food Security Initiative and the latest grant awards, contact Executive Director Liz Hamburg at 605-431-9876 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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