Meals for kids!

During the spring of 2010, the staff at Sheridan Elementary in Northeast Minneapolis discovered a problem: Students were hoarding food from the cafeteria on Fridays. 

Why?

At the time, more than 90 percent of students at Sheridan were receiving free or reduced-price lunches, and it turned out that many students were taking extra food home to eat during the weekend. 

Saddened and dismayed, school staff members approached members of Mill City Church — which met on Sundays in the school auditorium — and asked if they could somehow address this need. By the fall of that same year, church members had partnered with members of Woodridge Church in Medina to start a program to feed 27 kindergarteners at the school.

Today, The Sheridan Story is a nonprofit organization that’s helped provide more than 2 million meals to kids during critical food gaps. 

The Sheridan Story and its partners are now serving more than 9,700 kids in 271 locations.

The best part?

The program is discreet.

At the end of each school week, weekend food bags (typically about 5 pounds of nutritious food) are distributed into kids’ backpacks while they aren’t in the halls. 

Though the organization is focused on weekend meals, the program has expanded in some areas to include summer and winter breaks, too, when most school-lunch programs go on hiatus.

The Sheridan Story facilitates partnerships between schools and community organizations such as churches and businesses. Such sponsors each partner directly with a specific school and donate to the cost of the program. They also typically send volunteers into their sponsored schools each week to distribute the food. 

The Sheridan Story sources the food, runs food-packing events and provides promotional/administrative materials to sponsors and volunteers.  

Despite this work — and the work of other groups — more than 200,000 Minnesota kids are still living with food insecurity. Learn about how to get involved by donating, volunteering or sponsoring a school at thesheridanstory.org.