12/6/2012 9:36:00 AM Anti-hunger program off to good start at TF Elementary School
by DENISE MARTIN
The new anti-hunger program at Taylors Falls Elementary School is entering its second month and while participation for the take-home food packages hasn’t reached the projected 100 families, Principal Joe Thimm says he’s thrilled to have the option of sending food home with any number of his kids. Family Pathways Food Shelf, area churches and the school are testing a system based on a successful hunger outreach initiative used Wisconsin schools. The end of the week food packages were initiated at Taylors Falls School a few weeks ago. The effort sends food items home with students at the end of the school week, that are meant to provide a couple of meals away from school. Canned or boxed items are discreetly put into children’s book bags and backpacks of families who have expressed interest. Thimm says about 40 students are participating or almost half of what was the estimate. “It is still a new thing,” he added. “People need to feel okay with letting us know, they need to realize there’s no questions about family income or anything like that, too.” Over the Thanksgiving break Thimm said an additional 12 bags of food items were sent home with kids whose families had not officially put their name into the program, and Thimm said he got three more on the list from that. The food is distributed through the Lindstrom food shelf, bagged, delivered to the Taylors Falls School and kept in a storage room until kids leave for either the weekend or for a holiday break. Thimm said the every-other-day kindergartners bring home their items whenever the end of their school week arives.