Lonsdale Area Food Shelf brings back-to-school excitement to 53 students
By LORI NICKEL firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Sunday, August 16, 2015 7:14 pm
Supply Our Students volunteersVolunteers who helped with the Supply Our Students program at the Lonsdale Area Food Shelf are (from left) Co-Coordinator Jenna Heimer, Volunteer Mary Alice Kreuser and Executive Director Tami Heimer. Not pictured are Co-Coordinator Bev Boyda, Board President Kathy Vosejpka and Treasurer and Accounting Coordinator Bradley Heimer. (Lori Nickel/News-Review)
Excitement was in the air on Thursday, Aug. 13, as volunteers prepared for a special day at the Lonsdale Area Food Shelf (LAFS).
With the average national cost of school supplies being around $100 per child, the LAFS Board of Directors made the decision to help the families it regularly serves by providing the children with their necessary supplies.
After months of planning, the program, called Supply Our Students (SOS), came to a happy end on Thursday when it provided 53 students with their complete list of school supplies, as specified by their schools. The children were invited to the Lonsdale Area Food Shelf, located at 130 Delaware St. SE, to pick out a new backpack and collect their paper, pencils, pens, markers and everything else on their classroom lists.
Co-coordinators of the program are Jenna Heimer and Bev Boyda. Over the past two months, they asked families using the food shelf to sign up for SOS. Parents provided information on their children’s grades and school so Jenna and Bev could get the supply lists and get to work.
The need for classroom supplies is high, something Jenna knows all too well.
“I’m a teacher and I see kids come to school without supplies,” Jenna said. “I want to start them out on the right foot.”
Also helping out with SOS were volunteers Mary Alice Krause, board president Kathy Vosejpka, executive director Tami Heimer, and board treasurer and accounting coordinator Bradley Heimer.
Jenna said they spent approximately $2,000 total and purchased in bulk when possible. To afford SOS, Tami explained that they received a generous donation from Round Bank in New Prague, and Performance Paper in Lakeville donated several reams of copy paper. Private individuals also contributed monetarily toward the program while others donated school supplies.
To add to Thursday’s excitement, the food shelf received donations of ice cream cones and ice cream. As the families stopped in to pick up their supplies Thursday, volunteer Dennis Vosejpka was on hand scooping ice cream, making the day even sweeter.
How to help
Next week, food shelf volunteers will complete distributing school supplies to the families registered for SOS. However, donations are always needed and a variety of options are listed on the website at www.lonsdaleareafoodshelf.org.
The food shelf is open every Thursday from 12:30 to 5 p.m., and on the first and third Thursdays of each month it is open until 6 p.m. For more information on how to help, call 507-744-7453 or email Lonsdalefoodshelf@gmail.com.