VEAP knows that growing kids and teens need lots of food to get them through the week! That’s why we are a strong proponent of state-wide free and reduced lunch funding for students whose parents are earning low incomes. But what do these same students do if they need an extra food boost during the day or weekend?
Enter VEAP’s Student Food Pack program. Presently we work with dozens of schools across our service area to make sure students who need additional food during the day or at the end of the week can pick up food or snacks right from pantry cupboards onsite at schools. VEAP also distributes food bags packed with the weekend in mind for students who may be food-insecure when school’s not in session. Teachers and social workers also work to help identify students they believe would benefit from the support.
Says Distribution Manager, Dave Rannow: “Our summer program for students is new since the pandemic upended everything in March of 2020. We really want to be there for the students throughout the year. We don’t take a break during the summer vacation, and if there is a need we aim to fill it. We did more of that work during the first pandemic summer, but I could see us continuing to assist with summer programs going forward.”
Last school year (including the summer), nearly 1,500 students received food, and the schools had over 4,000 distributions of food including snacks, cupboard pantry visits, and bags. We are grateful to our dedicated volunteer groups who help sort and pack bags for this incredibly important program!