Local nonprofit working to keep children fed over summer

Local nonprofit working to keep children fed over summer

Local nonprofit working to keep children fed over summer

A Minnesota nonprofit is working to address food insecurity, especially for kids during the summer.

One community it’s helping out is Lakeville.

It’s all part of The Open Door’s mission as a hunger relief organization serving kids all across Dakota County.

“It’s just nice to be able to get some food every day,” said Elijah, a student at Lakeville South High School.

“It never gets old being to put food into the hands of someone who needs it,” Jason Viana, The Open Door’s executive director, said.

Viana says the nonprofit’s mobile lunchbox delivers meals to kids five days a week during the summer months. But in Lakeville, it’s taking a community approach to address the need.

“People forget that poverty lives in the suburbs too, and Lakeville is a unique challenge because it has such a low percentage of folks that need support,” Viana said.

That percentage is less than 11%, meaning the district doesn’t qualify for any federal meal programs.

“Lakeville Area Schools, there’s probably 2,000 kids that need support, which isn’t a huge number but if you need help, you need help, it doesn’t really matter how many of you there are,” Viana said.

Stepping up to help prepare these meals are All Saints Catholic Church and a local chef, plus all the community partners chipping in to pay for it all.

“I think it’s a pretty good program, definitely helps out a lot in being able to get food,” Elijah said.

Over the course of the summer, The Open Door will deliver more than 10,000 meals in Lakeville.

“Honestly, it’s a blessing,” Elijah said.

For many people, this program provides comfort, peace of mind and the assurance that someone out there cares, delivering more than just a meal, one stop at a time.

To help support The Open Door’s mission or to learn more, click here.