November 21, 2012 9:45 am • By Jeremiah Tucker, Sauk Prairie Eagle
What began as a modest effort to send food home with students from needy families in the Sauk Prairie Area School District has doubled in recent years, offering more food to more families more often.
Susan Baumann-Duren, a social worker and homeless coordinator for the Sauk Prairie School District, said she used to send food home to a few families during school breaks, a time when low-income students lose access to free breakfasts and lunches, but the program was informal and only when she had food on hand.
Since John and Sarah Ramthun with the local non-profit 6:8 got involved, the program has expanded. Four times a year Baumann-Duren ensures the food and donations raised by the Ramthuns are sent home with students at the beginning of Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring and summer breaks.
Baumann-Duren said this year there are 52 homeless students in the school district on Friday.
This year students from 70 families—up from around 25 just a few years ago—received a bag containing food, squash from Green Thumb Farms in Prairie du Sac, a $20 gift card accepted at local grocery stores and a coupon for 1 ½ pounds of meat from Wyttenbach’s Meat Market.