News for Donor Advisors

Helping Our Students

A student works on an assignment.

The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation has created a fund to help ensure that 10 Title 1 elementary schools in Sioux Falls can continue to provide healthy snacks for their students each school day.

The schools, all of which serve students from predominantly low income families, have historically participated in a government program through which fresh fruits and vegetables are sold at reduced costs. The schools have purchased that produce to serve as nutritious snacks to their students each school day.

This fall, however, the program changed.

New safety guidelines implemented in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic now require that all school-provided snacks be pre-packaged. The resulting logistical and financial challenges mean that schools are able to provide snacks only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

That means no snacks for kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In addition, in an attempt to decrease the number of kids in the lunchroom at the same time, per social distancing recommendations, schools have had to add in more lunch periods throughout the day. As a result, some kids may eat lunch early in the day; while others may eat in the afternoon.

After learning of the situation, the Community Foundation stepped forward to help, creating the School Snack Project Fund, said Patrick Gale, vice president for community investment.

“Kids in school need energy to concentrate on learning, and that energy comes from proper nourishment,” Gale said. “When our bodies experience hunger, our minds are impacted; we can’t focus properly and concentrating becomes difficult. No child should have to experience that.”

Teachers and school administrators also feel the pain of students experiencing hunger.

“We’ve heard countless stories of teachers and principals from these schools who are paying for snacks for their classrooms out of their own pockets,” he said. “Our teachers and administrators already go above and beyond for our kids — that’s especially apparent this year. The fact that they’re doing this is just another illustration of how much teachers love and care for their students. And it’s another reason we’re honored to help with this effort.”

Proceeds from the fund will be given to the Sioux Falls School District, who will purchase snacks for students at the following schools: Anne Sullivan Elementary, Cleveland Elementary, the Elementary Immersion Center, Garfield Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary, Hayward Elementary, Horace Mann Bridges Elementary, Laura B. Anderson Elementary, Lowell Elementary and Terry Redlin Elementary.