The Co-op is rounding up with the Children’s Weekend Food Program in St. Peter this holiday season. The program is a collaboration between School District #508 and the St. Peter Area Food Shelf. This partnership started during the 2011-2012 school year, and it’s been going strong ever since.
Its mission is simple: “provide child-friendly, nutritious, non-perishable food items for breakfast, lunch, and snacks for local students on most non-school days of the regular school year.” Currently, 13.6% of St. Peter residents live below the poverty rate, which includes many children and teens. The program works completely on a volunteer basis and is split into two options: a PreK-6th grade Weekend Food Pack Program and a Teen Pantry. For the weekend program, volunteers receive donations and then pack them up and give them to the teachers to distribute to the children. The teachers are given the names of the students, so anonymity is valued and important. If someone wanted to sign up a child for the program, they would contact the child’s school and ask for a form to fill out. It’s as simple as that!
For the Teen Pantry, students can enroll themselves in this program through their school counselor. Then, every Thursday from 4:30-5:30 at the St. Peter Community Center, students can receive food from the pantry. Rides are provided, if necessary.
These programs are available because of the awesome work of Jane Frank and others. Let’s give them an even bigger round of applause this holiday season by rounding up those purchases! Our cashiers get pretty excited about rounding those purchases up, so do know that you’ll put a smile on their faces, too. And, if you feel inclined, the Children’s Weekend Food Program takes donations online as well. It costs approximately $206 to support one child for a year.