Donation extends kid’s food program into summer | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Donation extends kid’s food program into summer

Children from the South Shore of Lake Tahoe no longer need to go hungry during the summer months, thanks to a sizable donation from the CEO of a ski resort management company.

The "Summer B&B 4 Kids" will launch on Wed. June 21, with a focus on helping the 50 percent of local children who are receiving free or subsidized school meals during the school year, according to a press release. The summer meals are made possible by a donation of $125,000 by Rob Katz, Vail Resorts CEO, and his wife Elana Amsterdam. Vail Resorts owns and operates Heavenly Mountain Resort and Kirkwood Mountain, along with other resorts in the U.S. and beyond.

"The welfare of children and families in our local communities who are most vulnerable requires our attention and we feel fortunate to be able to support some outstanding non-profit organizations who work tirelessly to serve them," Katz said in the release. "We hope our contributions serve as a catalyst for others to join our efforts to help ensure the vibrancy of these incredible cities and towns."

In partnership with the South Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center and Vail Resorts, Bread & Broth's summer program will ensure kids have access to food each week by handing out a variety of kid-friendly foods every Wednesday morning during summer break at St. Theresa Church Grace Hall.

For the past two years, the St. Theresa B&B 4 Kids program has been providing Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) K-8 students who struggle with hunger, seven meals and four snacks every weekend throughout the school year.

The new "Summer B&B 4 Kids" program will now extend B&B's efforts to helping hungry children throughout the entire year.

"Everyone always asked us what our kids did during the summer without their weekend backpacks of food," Christy Slocum and Paula Peterson, co-chairs of the B&B 4 Kids program, stated in a press release. "This donation is amazing and will go far in keeping the kids in our community from going hungry."

Employees from Heavenly and Kirkwood mountain resorts will also be involved with the program by volunteering on Wednesdays to help the B&B volunteers at the food giveaway events.

"We couldn't be more proud to be involved with this new initiative," Pete Sonntag, outgoing senior vice president and COO of Heavenly Mountain Resort, said in the release. "Thanks to Rob and Elana's personal generosity and the willingness of our nonprofit partners to go the extra mile on short notice, we will begin to address this critical community need sooner rather than later."

With the school year coming to a close on June 20, the "Summer B&B 4 Kids" program will begin its first distribution of food on Wednesday, June 21, at St. Theresa Grace Hall, at 1041 Lyons Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe.

From 9 a.m. to noon B&B program volunteers along with Heavenly and Kirkwood employees will be stationed in the front of Grace Hall with tables loaded with a variety of foods including fresh fruit, cereals, canned meats, breakfast and nutrition bars. The Summer B&B 4 Kids program will continue until Aug. 23 when the school year resumes.

Any child up to the age of 18 can come alone, or with their parent or guardian, to Grace Hall on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon during the school summer break and fill a bag with various food options provided each week.

Food will only be given to parents accompanied by their child(ren). There will be a "surprise snack" giveaway each week to encourage children to come back weekly.

"The South Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center is proud to partner with the new Summer Bread & Broth 4 Kids program to assist in providing food for children who are food insecure during the summer months," Bill Martinez, executive director of the South Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center, said in the news release.

Possible expansion of the program to increase the numbers of days of food distribution and the number of distribution locations remain future possibilities.

"Bread & Broth is so honored to be able to be involved in this amazing new program," Evye Szanto, B&B co-director, said in the release. "It is a great addition to both B&B and the Tahoe South Shore community."