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Food boxes help kids who depend on school lunches keep from going hungry during spring break

Posted at 3:33 PM, Mar 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-29 17:35:49-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A majority of kids in Twin Falls qualify for free or reduced school lunches. But when school's not in session, that can mean hungry kids. Chobani kicked off Spring Break by handing out 200 food boxes to families at Harrison Elementary, to help make sure no one went hungry while away from school.

  • Chobani employees assembled and distributed 200 food boxes at the start of Spring Break.
  • A number of schools in Twin Falls have food pantries, regularly stocked with food and supplies from local businesses.
  • On Thursday the Idaho State Senate rejected a bill that would have made $16 million in EBTs available for summer meals for low-income students.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

In Twin Falls School District, 67 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunches

“Families could be struggling with making tough decisions,” Said district Communication Director Eva Craner. She described how some families might be faced with decisions between buying food or another expense, like an electrical bill.

And the district does what it can to keep kids fed.

Eleven Twin Falls schools offer free lunch to all students. The other schools encourage families to apply for free or reduced lunches.

“We want to make sure those are taken care of in all aspects not just their academics,” Craner said.

Summer break is still a few months out but one summer meal program that could have given the state access to 16 million in federal funding ... was rejected this week by the Idaho senate.

Spring break is another time when kids won't receive free school meals.

“It's the two weekends and then a couple additional days the week before,” Craner said. “Which is a long time for kids, particularly those who are living in poverty, who have food and securities to be away from those regular meals that they receive at school.”

One local company, Chobani, helped to provide hundreds of food boxes to families at Harrison Elementary, hoping to make spring break a little less stressful.

"We just feel it's part of who we are and what we want to do," Chobani’s Kelly Herrgesell said.

She told Idaho News 6 that employees worked together to assemble more than 200 food boxes for students to take home over spring break.

“We've been really interested in trying to end child hunger or fight child, hunger and food insecurity and our communities right here in Twin Falls,” Herrgesell said.

Each box was packed with enough food for breakfasts and lunches for a week.

As a food producer, Chobani makes fighting hunger in the area a top priority.

"We work with our food pantries, our school pantries, we have lots of need in the community, and so we are always trying to find those initiatives and help out and wherever we can,” Herrgesell said.