Working to eliminate childhood hunger.

Food4Kids was established in February 2012 with the goal of providing nutritional, pre-packaged food bags for students at Whittier Elementary School. It began serving students in September 2012 and is a collaboration between St. James United Methodist Church, St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church.

Whittier Elementary was chosen for three primary reasons:
  • A 2011 study conducted by St. James revealed children in poverty as one of five areas of need within a two mile radius of the church.
  • 68 percent of students at the school qualified for free or reduced-price lunches (as of May 2013).
  • The school was not served by the Food Bank of Siouxland's BackPack Program.

The Food Bank of Siouxland provided advisory guidance for the program, and several area organizations have provided support through grants, donations and a food drive.

In August 2015, Whittier Elementary merged with another elementary school in the neighborhood to form Morningside Elementary. Food4Kids followed and expanded at the new location. Any student with parent permission may register to participate. In 2017/18, we served 225 students each week during the school year.

In October 2018, the program changed to better serve the needs of students at Morningside Elementary School. We have partnered with the Food Bank of Siouxland to provide a monthly food pantry at the school. Once a month, the food bank delivers a variety of foods (canned fruits and vegetables, bread, cereal, pasta, meat, fresh produce when available and frozen bakery items) to Morningside Elementary. Food4Kids pays for the food and provides volunteers to implement the program, and parents pick up the food from the school. This change allows us to provide more food for the families at a lower cost than the individual food bags.