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School Starts Soon!

November 16, 2016 | Blog

Wow! We have been busy. Summer feeding is in full swing and it is going very well for the Food Bank of Iowa’s first summer with this program. There have been a number of small logistical items to work out and lessons learned, but we are happy with how well this summer has gone so far. We are feeding lunch to families in Urbandale and Waukee. This is a daily routine now where we deliver meals to our sites and everyone gets fed. It is fun to get to know the kids at the sites and see how excited they are to come out for lunch. We are vending with Des Moines Public School dining services and it has worked well. (Shout out to the Waukee Elementary teachers who serve lunch at an apartment complex in Waukee. You have been awesome and thanks for pushing for this site.) Our breakfast locations have worked even better and we will be expanding greatly in that area next year.

Our last Feeding America Rural Child Hunger Capacity Institute call focused on moving meals to remote sites. This call was extremely informative on how other food banks are doing this and gave us ideas to strategize our expansion in summer of 2016. We will look for other vendors for shelf stable meals and also partnering with local communities/restaurants/senior living facilities. It is never too early to start planning for next summer.

We are also starting to really ramp up for the school year which means starting with 5,000 kids in our BackPack ProgramTM – big milestone for us. I still have a few site visits to do with new schools, but we will be ready to go once the school year kicks off. We have a couple changes to the menu this year that we hope the kids like. Our initial supply of food is in and we our first volunteer pack will be in just a couple weeks. Community partners are already getting their initial time slots set for pickup. Back to school time is exciting and hectic.

We have also trained our tenth school pantry and they will be starting in August. This one is in Nevada and has a great church group supporting it. We are also actively talking with a handful of other schools to define space for a pantry in their school district. We are looking to expand this program quickly and I hope to find more schools that are interested in our underserved areas. Even if you don’t have space we can do a school pantry – it will just be a mobile model. I would love to talk to you about this.

Kate Pauly | Regional Partnership Coordinator

Kate Pauly is the Regional Partnership Coordinator for Region 1, the northwest corner of our service area. She takes a holistic approach to hunger fighting, helping our partners find the best solutions to get food to people in need.

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