For many students, summer means no school, warm weather, and summer activities. For some students, however, summer means hunger. Two programs in Douglas County are trying to end food insecurity over the summer.
Douglas County School District (DCSD) Nutrition Services Summer Feeding:
DCSD Nutrition Services is working this summer to make sure no one under 18 years of age faces hunger.
“We are able to provide free meals to anyone ages 18 and under regardless of their income,” DCSD Nutrition Services Training Specialist Kristina Keer said.
The Summer Feeding has been actively providing meals for three weeks, and has served over 117,000 meals in these first weeks, according to Keer.
The Summer Feeding program includes walk-up sites in Castle Rock, Parker, and Highlands Ranch Monday through Friday. A seven-day meal bag pickup is also available on Wednesdays from 11:30am-12:30pm.
Check this link for more information.
The Backpack Society is an independent organization that works with Douglas County to provide meals to all students and their families who need them.
“Our mission is to fill the food gap on weekends and during school breaks for students, thus eliminating hunger as a barrier to the student so they can be at their best and have every opportunity to thrive and learn,” Backpack Society founder June Everett said. “We currently support 20 schools!”
The Backpack Society offers five programs: the Student Weekend Program (during the school year), the Family Program (during the school year), School Staff Program (during the school year), School Pantry Program, and the Summer Program, which provides food for the entire week.
Students can volunteer for the Backpack Society to help students and families in need and to give back to their community.
“I loved volunteering at the Backpack Society because it was a reminder that there are still good people out there that want to help,” Marissa Segal ‘21 said. “With so much negativity, it was refreshing to see so much good.”
The Backpack Society is currently accepting donations and volunteers. Check their website for more information. You can sign up here to volunteer.