Free breakfasts and lunches make the school day more bearable for millions of school-aged children.
Posted on 9/8/17
By Lisa Nowatzki
Each year, millions of children and parents rely on free and reduced meals at school. But what happens when the kids go home for the weekend? Who makes sure they have nutritious meals for the two and a half days they are at home on weekends?
The Week-END Kids’ Hunger Project has found a way to provide meals for school-age children during the time they are at home on the weekends. For a child to participate, there are no requirements or conditions to be met; children need only have their parents sign the provided permission slip.
Sometime on Friday, before the start of each weekend, volunteers quietly place kid-friendly meals in the lockers of each child who wants or needs food for the weekend. The food is packaged in easy-to-open containers and is very easy to prepare.
The food packages are heathy and nutritious. The meals come from the Great Plains Food Bank in Fargo. From there the food is transferred to the Cavalier County Emergency Food Pantry and stored at Thrivent Financial until it is distributed to the students.
For the 2016-2017 school year, Week-END Hunger Project provided weekend meals for nearly 30 children per week between the Langdon Area Elementary School (LAES) and St. Alphonsus Elementary School. Totaling more than 780 packages.
The project members’ goals are simple. According to Rachelle Fetsch, “We want to continue to provide food for the children in our community and expand into the LAHS (Langdon Area High School) and the LAMS (Langdon Area Middle School).” Eventually, founders of the project want to be able to cover the entire school system from kindergarten to senior high students. Coordinators are also looking to expand meal availability into the summer months for children in need.
To get the food to the children takes numerous volunteer hours and many helping hands in the form of a committee. The members are Pastor Karl Breddin, Debra Balsdon, Rachelle Fetsch Sarah Overby, Junell Jonasson, Pastor Justin Schnackenberg, Pastor Adrian Olson, Sherri Romfo, Susie Borgen, and Kathy Downs.
Fetsch states that the project has enough volunteers from the committee members and the CHS employees to support the rotational meal delivery system, however, financial donations are always needed and welcomed.
The Week-END Kids’ Hunger Project gladly accepts all financial gifts. Tax-free donations may be made out and sent to the Cavalier County Emergency Food Pantry, PO Box 630, in Langdon. Please include “Week-END Kids’ Hunger Project in the memo line of the check or include a note with any cash donations.