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SD Department of Education February 2015  
Summer Food Service success story: Hill City School District

The South Dakota Department of Education’s office of Child and Adult Nutrition Services is seeking sponsors and sites for the Summer Food Service Program. Community organizations, nonprofits, schools, tribal and local governments can apply to be sponsors if they operate in low-income areas, serve a group of mostly low-income children or operate a summer camp with a high proportion of low-income participants. Click here for more information about how to implement the program in your district.

The Hill City School District became a Summer Food Service site for the first time in summer 2014. Food service director Janelle Peterson had experienced success with the program in Rapid City and was excited to try it in Hill City. The district started by surveying parents and community groups to determine interest.

The district initially hoped to serve about 60 children a day. That goal was quickly exceeded. Already in the first week, daily attendance averaged 100 children. “It was incredible to stop by our lunchroom throughout the summer months and see it filled with 80 to 100+ children enjoying nutritious lunches prepared by our wonderful food service professionals,” said Hill City superintendent Mike Hanson.

Parks and recreation departments, city and county health departments, libraries and neighborhood service agencies can participate as sites or sponsors. “We had wonderful partnerships with the Hill City Boys and Girls Club and local daycare providers who helped get our families excited about participating in this program,” Hanson said.

Plans are under way to continue the program this summer. “We have already heard from community members, the Boys and Girls Club of the Black Hills, parents and the staff here at the Hill City School District asking about the program,” said food service employee Roxann DuBois. “We are starting the conversation early to be prepared. To know you can feed 100 children [a day] is awesome.”

Contact Julie McCord, South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-3110 with any questions.


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