Wessington Springs High School senior Spencer Titze invites the community to an event he’s hosting as part of his senior project to benefit the Blue Bag Program. Slated for February 19 during the double header basketball game, the event will feature a bake sale, silent auction items donated by local businesses, family members and the Blue Bag committee. FCCLA is joining in on the effort as well, serving up a meal with proceeds also going towards the Blue Bag Program.
While Wessington Springs School District provides free or reduced meals to children at risk of hunger during the school week, it does not address the needs of children when school isn’t in session.
This is where the Springs Blue Bag Nutrition Program fills an important void with its backpack program. This program provides children with nutritious, easy-to-prepare foods once school lets out before weekends.
Participating children are identified by teachers or administrators and families are welcome to request that their child(ren) participate. Food is discreetly sent home with children at the end of each school week and the names of participants are kept strictly confidential. The Blue Bag Program sends 12 nutritious food items home including four entrees, four fruit/ vegetables and four snacks that kids of all ages can easily prepare themselves.
Over 700 blue bags are provided to area kids in a school year. While school is in session, 75 a month are packed and discreetly sent home with kids and during summer months, the need rises. In addition to food items, the Blue Bag committee worked with local restaurants, Humm-Dinger, Sweet Grass and Red Hog to provide hot meal vouchers to children.
Because of Covid, volunteers were not available to pack bags over the summer and Titze joined in to help. The time spent helping with the program prompted him to choose the program for his senior project.
Planning for the event included Titze making and hanging flyers, asking businesses for sponsorship and silent auction donations and communicating with Blue Bag board members.
If interested in donating baked goods and silent auction items, please contact Carrie Azure, Titze’s project mentor, at the elementary school 605-539-1754.