When the Keshena Primary School opens in September, for the next 15 weeks thanks to the supporters of Running Strong for American Indian Youth, each Friday afternoon 450 Menominee children will be heading home with a Smart Sack.
They’re called “Smart Sacks” for good reason – a child who does not have access to healthy food all weekend is not going to be focusing on their studies when they return to school on Monday mornings.
When it was reported to Running Strong for American Indian Youth® more than a decade ago by administrators and teachers in the Menominee Indian School District in Keshena, Wisconsin that students were arriving to school hungry and lethargic, we knew we had to take action.
“Our school district suffers from a high rate of poverty,” reported Menominee Indian School District Superintendent Wendell Waukau. “Our teachers have documented that this lack of food causes fatigue, absenteeism, and poor health, and is impacting the children’s ability to learn.”
From then on, thanks to our supporters we have been able to provide a Smart Sack – a backpack or grocery bag full of non-perishable food items for hundreds of Menominee elementary school students to take home on Friday afternoons ensuring that they, and their family members have plenty of food for the weekend.