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South Lake Tahoe’s Bread & Broth feeds school children

Jack Barnwell
jbarnwell@tahoedailytribune.com
Bread & Broth volunteers prepare bags of food for 100 Lake Tahoe Unified School District students at St. Theresa's Grace Hall on Lyons Avenue on Oct. 1 as part of the Bread & Broth 4 Kids program.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

LOCAL PROGRAMS HELP WITH FOOD

Other programs exist to help South Lake Tahoe families in need.

Christmas Cheer All Year is a charitable organization that helps South Lake Tahoe families through its food bank program. Located at 1120 Third St., Christmas Cheer provides families with bags or boxes of food depending on the need. In the past, volunteer Joanne Shope said the food bank assisted between 950 and 1,200 people a month with food. One person might receive a bag of food while a small family would receive a few boxes. Christmas Cheer also provides Christmas toys for children and a meal basket during the holidays.

The Food Bank of El Dorado County also holds a monthly mobile food pantry distribution at The American Legion, 2748 Lake Tahoe Blvd., on the last Wednesday of every month from 10-11 a.m. for people who need food the most. The Food Bank will provide one allocation per household for El Dorado County residents who need supplemental groceries. The next mobile pantries are Oct. 28 and Nov. 25, but will be dormant in December. For more information, visit http://www.foodbankedc.org.

­­— Jack Barnwell, Tahoe Daily Tribune reporter

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — A program starting in 2012 that helped two elementary school students with lunches for the entire school year recently blossomed to accommodate 100 children.

Bread & Broth 4 Kids, a program sponsored by South Lake Tahoe Bread & Broth, provides a grocery bag of food to low-income students at Tahoe Valley Elementary School, Sierra House Elementary School, Bijou Community School and South Tahoe Middle School, according to Bread & Broth co-chairs Paula Peterson and Christy Slocum.

“We’re looking at helping 100 students a week and growing from there,” Peterson said. “We eventually want to do 300 students.”

Students who qualify for reduced-price or free school lunch programs are provided a bag of food for the week. Bread & Broth volunteers pack the bags every Thursday at St. Theresa’s Grace Hall from 3:30-5 p.m.

The nonprofit already provides free hot meals at St. Theresa on Mondays and Fridays.

Organizers said most of the food comes from donations. A September food drive at Grocery Outlet on Lake Tahoe Boulevard provided the bulk of food donations for the first week of school.

According to Lake Tahoe Unified School District superintendent Dr. James Tarwater, approximately 60 percent of the 3,942 enrolled students qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.

Peterson said a high need for food assistance exists in South Lake Tahoe for a variety of reasons. Many children usually come from households where income is seasonal or low-wage.

Bread & Broth took over the program from Peterson this year. Peterson started the program in spring 2012 as Page and Sage, helping out two students a week.

The program grew to serve 67 students a week in 2014.

“I was meaning to grow, but couldn’t, so they (Bread & Broth) came in at a perfect time,” Peterson said.

Should families of students decide not to continue with the program, another student in need fills the vacancy.

However, the expansion also means a growth in operation expenses.

Slocum, a 12-year Bread & Broth veteran, estimates it currently costs $5 per student per week, or $500 per week for the entire school year for all 100 students.

Peterson said any level of community support would be appreciated, including monetary donations or volunteers to help pack the bags or distribute them to one of the four school sites.

For more information, contact Slocum at 310-413-6816 or slocumsrus@msn.com, or visit http://www.facebook.com/breadandbroth.


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