Donations needed for weekend food program | New

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Two local churches are working together to fight hunger among primary school students, but the program needs donations to continue.

The Weekend Food Program was launched in 2018 to provide food to students in the Verona area to address weekend food shortages when students do not receive lunch or snacks at school. ‘school.

This year, the demand for food aid is increasing and the school district is in greater need of additional food, Erin Wilson, who serves as liaison between the Sugar River United Methodist Church and school district social workers, told reporters. Verona region.

The program is scheduled to begin for this school year on October 6. Currently, the schools supported by the program — all of which are K-5 schools — are Country View Elementary, Sugar Creek Elementary, Stoner Prairie Elementary, and Glacier Edge Elementary.

While not yet confirmed, it’s possible the program will also be available to Foundational Knowledge Charter and New Century Charter students, Wilson said.

Last year, the program supported 90 children per weekend, she said. District social workers are not yet sure how many students will enroll in the program this year, as families can still enroll until the end of September.

A school district mailing has been sent to elementary school families asking them to participate in the program, and families should contact their respective school’s social workers to participate.

The majority of the food comes from Madison’s Second Harvest Food Bank, due to the low cost of food provided by Second Harvest. Some foods are also purchased in bulk from Costco. It costs between $2.95 and $3.95 per bag of weekend food, Wilson said.

Foods in weekend bags include microwaved mac and cheese, oatmeal, canned fruits and vegetables, fresh fruits such as tangerines, granola bars, and canned meats such than chicken. The goal is to have foods that can be easily prepared by a child or are ready to eat, without requiring additional ingredients like milk or butter, Wilson said.

The volunteers buy the food mid-week, prepare the weekend food bags on Thursdays and Fridays and distribute them with the help of school social workers on Fridays, who either deliver the bags privately to students in the need, or quietly slip the bags into the lockers of the students.

The program is funded by donations made to Sugar River UMC. After that, volunteers from St. James Lutheran Church, led by Karen Krause, take care of ordering the food, packing the bags, putting them away and delivering them to the schools.

Miller and Sons Supermarket donates the bags used by the program.

The weekend food program was developed by community volunteers and is in no way funded by the school district, Wilson said. The program began as a pilot project at Sugar Creek Elementary and, through continued donations, has grown to encompass four K-5 schools.

For the program to continue to be a success, funds are needed at this time, Wilson said. St. James has enough volunteers to do the bags, she said, and added that Sugar River doesn’t want any food donations — monetary donations can be stretched further with low-cost food from Second Harvest and Costco.

To donate, people should go to sugarriverumc.org/give then click ‘click here to donate’ and put Weekend Food Program in the ‘memo’ box.

Alternatively, checks can be mailed to Sugar River UMC at 415 W. Verona Ave., with the weekend food schedule in the memo.

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