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Partnership Nourishes Student Success

volunteers filling bags with food April 16, 2021 – With support from the Special Education Foundation (SEF), SSD provided meals to 70 students over the week of spring break. With a $5,000 donation from the SEF, the District was able to assemble food kits consisting of three meals, snacks, and beverages for seven days for identified students.

The idea for the project started when a team of SSD staff members came together to explore the possibility of expanding the scope of an annual food drive held at one of the District’s schools. That’s when the SEF stepped up to provide funding to support the effort through its Critical Needs Fund.

“Due to this very generous donation, we were able to include all of our SSD schools, the Bridges program, and the Vocational Skills Program, ensuring we would be able to meet the needs of all the students that were identified,” said Sally Difani, SSD’s administrator of community partnerships.

Collaboration by multiple SSD departments was also key to the success of the project. Representatives from the District’s Family Engagement, Social Work, and Communications departments helped coordinate the effort.

Students participating in SSD’s Vocational Skills Program at SSD Central Office sorted all of the food and placed it in bags for distribution. SSD’s Materials Management Department pitched in by helping transport the food between SSD locations. School social workers helped identify students who would benefit and worked with their families to coordinate delivery of the food to each home.

“I am so grateful to the Special Education Foundation and all of the stakeholders who pulled together in the spirit of collaboration and resilience to assist our families,” said SSD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Keenan. “It is so wonderful that everyone involved cares so deeply about helping our kids and their families.”

volunteer holding up food bag volunteer preparing food packages