Tongue River and Dayton community leaders are coming together to ensure no child in the Tongue River Valley goes hungry this summer. Sheridan County School District #1 (SCSD1) is serving lunch at the old Tongue River Elementary School to any child in need, ages 3 - 18, Monday through Thursday from 12 - 1 p.m. starting June 4 through August 16.
“The Community Cupboard food bank works hard to help families in need throughout the year. Over the summer, when children don’t have the benefit of free and reduced lunches at school, we have significantly more hungry kids in the Valley. This is when the Community Cupboard needs our help serving the most vulnerable children.” said Jeremy Smith, SCSD1 business manager. “We are working together with our community partners to make sure all children in the Tongue River Valley have at least one free, nutritious meal, Monday through Thursday, this summer.”
Children participating in Tongue River Valley Community Center (TRVCC) and Child’s Place programs will have free lunch throughout the summer. With the addition of other children in need throughout the Valley, the district expects to serve at least 100 kids daily.
For children who require transportation, TRVCC is offering free bussing Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Dayton Community Church is offering free bussing on Wednesdays.
Approximately 39 percent of students in the Tongue River Valley are on the free and reduced lunch program. Dennis Decker, SCSD1 food service director and chef, is running the program with some federal funding. Donations and volunteers to support this program are welcome.
Just like school lunches at SCSD1, all meals will include a main dish, fruits and vegetables. Some of the meat served will be locally sourced, and whenever possible during harvest season, Decker will serve local produce from the new Tongue River Elementary garden.
“During my ten years with the district, we’ve never offered a free summer lunch program in Tongue River,” said Decker. “With so many children in need, we know this will make a big difference in their lives.”
For more information about the program, how to donate or volunteer, and how to arrange transportation, contact Jeremy Smith at 307.655.9541 x1131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.