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Sioux Falls summer lunch program expands citywide

todayJune 5, 2024 2

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s a little over a week into the Sioux Falls School District’s Summer Lunch Program, and some people are wondering why this year’s locations were selected.

Monday through Friday, several Sioux Falls elementary schools open their doors to offer children free meals.

“What we did this year is we looked at we coordinated with our community learning centers, where they’re also operating so that we know that we can feed more students or children as they come through the doors because they’re already there and they’re in a location that qualifies for free meals for our summer feeding programs,” school district child nutrition coordinator Gay Anderson said.

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Each summer the locations change depending on the need in the community, and past participation.

“We kind of look at that every year to see, okay, how many people attended this site, how many attended that site so that we know that we’re actually in the right places at the right time,” Anderson said.

This is a map showing the elementary schools with the free summer meal program last year.Many of them are located in the central and northeastern part of the city.

This map shows the elementary schools offering the program this summer.

When you compare the maps, it is noticeable this year’s locations are more spread out.

The ultimate goal of the summer meal program is to feed as many children as possible.But, the district is limited in what it can do because of funding.

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“The only way to expand a USDA program is to increase the amount of federal dollars that are available,” said Michelle Erpenbach with Sioux Falls Thrive. “And so that comes back to this concept of who we are as a society, who and how we look at our children, our most vulnerable folks? How do we think we can best serve those kids?”

Because Sioux Falls is growing, Erpenbach said expanding the program is inevitable.

Click Here to see the participating schools hours

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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