The sluggish economy causes more South Dakota families to rely on a food program to make ends meet.
Rapid City school administrators say more families are signing up for Feeding South Dakota’s Backpack Program this school year.
At Robbinsdale Elementary School, administrators estimate a quarter of the school population will receive food backpacks this year. Secretary Karla Arthur says that’s a dramatic increase over last year.
“We have grown huge this year because due to the response of the community our program has grown so much,” said Arthur. “We’re able to give so many more families the food bags. So it’s greatly appreciated by a lot of families.”
Arthur says the bags are invaluable because they ensure children will have a nutritious meal each weekend.
The food packs cost Feeding South Dakota less than $5.00 to put together, which adds up to about $145.00 for each child for an entire school year.
The organization relies heavily on funding from the community to continue its food program.