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Feeding South Dakota Pilots After-School Snack Program

A library in Sioux Falls is partnering with Feeding South Dakota to provide after-school snacks for elementary students.

At 3 o'clock on a school day, students at Anne Sullivan Middle School walk across the street to Oak View Library while they wait to get picked up. Director of Siouxland Libraries  Mary Johns says staff had the idea of asking Feeding South Dakota if the two groups could partner to provide a snack for students who stay late in the evening waiting for parents.

 “A lot of the kids who are coming haven’t eaten since lunch and may been here for an extended period of time and the idea is that none of us can learn or pay attention if we're hungry. So it seemed like a natural kind of fit for us that we are feeding kids minds and feeding kids bodies,” says Johns.

The program called Food For All is the first snack program started by Feeding South Dakota. Allison Struck is the program organized for the Backpack Program at part of Feeding South Dakota that provides food for kids on the weekend. Struck says the library was an ideal setting to start a food program for during the week.

“The library is a safe place, its right across from the elementary school, so it seemed like the right thing to do,” says Struck.

Today about 80 kids file into the library to receive their snack. The choice is graham crackers and yogurt.  

Staff at Oak View Library pass out snacks to students at part of a new program with Feeding South Dakota

Out of those kids about 60 stay to participate in library activities.

Struck says if the Food For All program is a success at the end of the school year, Feeding South Dakota may expand the program to other sites in the state.