Feb. 10, 2021 — A COVID-19 inspired partnership between Siuslaw School District and Florence Food Share designed to provide meals, and social contact for students while distance learning, has proven to be very successful.
The Thursday Night Dinner Cooperative Project was initiated in May and has provided hundreds of meals to the school district’s food insecure families. The meals distributed through the program are prepared at district facilities and delivered by volunteers working with school district.
More than 80 four-person meals go out to 56 different home sites each week.
Florence Food Share Executive Director Colin Morgan said, “The dinner project has been a great partnership between the school district and Florence Food Share. We are still providing the funding for the food that is distributed, thanks to donations from our community partners. I don’t foresee the program ending any time soon, at least not until we have better, safer situation for students to return to school.”
The meal delivery program also provides educators with an opportunity to have limited face to face contact with students and parents. Those delivering the meals bring additional school supplies and homework support to students at the same time they deliver meals.
Technical advice and the delivery of electronic devices are part of the district’s remote services. While the time frame is short, the advice and counsel given to both students and their families has been greatly appreciated, according to Siuslaw School District Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak.
“The Thursday Night Dinner Cooperative Project has been a great success and is a prime example of a successful community partnership,” he said. “Since it was started last spring, it has received a warm welcome. The project started out to address food insecurity issues of student families, but has grown to include other persons in need in the community.”
For the food share, Morgan was very appreciative of the work done by Siuslaw and lauded the cooperation between the two entities.
“The teachers and administrators at the school district have done an unbelievable job dealing with the COVID situation. They have been awesome to work with and they really care about their students,” Morgan said.
People who wish to help in either the purchase of food or other learning related items can contact the Siuslaw School District Office, 2111 Oak St., at 541-997-2651.
Florence Food Share was able to support this project with funding from the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation, Safe Shelter for Siuslaw Students and Siuslaw Education Foundation, with additional funding from anonymous donors.
Florence Food Share, 2190 Spruce St., is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and on the second and fourth Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 541-997-9110 or visit www.florencefoodshare.org.
For more information about Siuslaw School District, visit Siuslaw.k12.or.us.