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Published May 12 2010

West Fargo High holds event to benefit food aid

A new program supplied meals to 40 West Fargo students this year who otherwise would have had little food on weekends – if any.

But there are still hundreds of students in need.

That’s why school leaders hope to raise more than $10,000 tonight for a program that supplies meals and snacks to low-income students on weekends.

“If we have a third of our students on free and reduced (meals), what are they doing on Saturday and Sunday?” curriculum coordinator Kathy Scott asked. “The need is getting bigger.”

Scott and high school Assistant Principal Cory Steiner organized today’s event to raise money to fulfill an ambitious goal: ensure that every West Fargo student in need receives food on weekends next fall.

A $10,000 donation from Corwin Automotive Group has supported one school, but officials said at least another $10,000 is needed.

“For many of these students, it will be the only food on weekends,” Scott said. “Once you start it, you don’t want to stop it.”

At tonight’s event, people can donate, participate in a silent auction or “Adopt-a-Kid” – $135 provides food for one student each weekend all year.

From cereal to soup, Fargo’s Great Plains Food Bank supplies the food in discreet backpacks after school on Fridays.

It’s a program several other Minnesota and North Dakota schools also participate in because officials say besides feeding kids, it boosts their attendance and concentration.

“It’s very tough to achieve academically … if you’re concerned where your next meal is at,” Steiner said. “This is a community issue. It’s not just a school issue.”

If you go

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515