School lunch line EPHS

Eden Prairie families wait in line to pick up free meals for their students at Eden Prairie High School on April 27.

An additional grant from the Eden Prairie Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund will go to help feed children on the weekends.

The $5,000 quick-response grant given to The Sheridan Story, a Twin Cities nonprofit that has been working with Eden Prairie Schools to provide food and support to students during the pandemic, an April 27 news release says.

During a typical school year, The Sheridan Story distributes packs of food across 31 school districts, including Eden Prairie, in an effort to combat weekend food insecurity.

The Sheridan Story has continued to provide weekend food packs to Eden Prairie students amid the pandemic, distributing 1,254 free meals per week from mid-March to early April, the release says.

The $5,000 grant will help the nonprofit distribute meals for the remainder of the school year, with the release noting demand for them has grown to 2,538 meals per week.

While school buildings have been closed, Eden Prairie Schools has provided meals to any child who lives in Eden Prairie who wants them, regardless of economic status. The district will continue to distribute weekday meals to students for the remainder of the school year, according to the district’s website.

The COVID-19 Response Fund was set up to help Eden Prairie residents with critical needs, with food being high on the list, Mark Weber, the foundation’s executive director, said in the release. So far, the foundation has raised more than $50,000 for the fund, which includes $20,000 from the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund.

Earlier this month, the foundation awarded its first two quick-response grants from the fund. It gave $8,000 to PROP and $3,000 to Brighter Days Grief Center. These grants will help residents in need of food, job-readiness help, transportation assistance and grief counseling during the pandemic, the foundation said.

More grants will be issued from the fund in the coming weeks as donations continue to be made, the release said. Donations to the fund can be made at www.epcommunityfoundation.org or by mailing a check to Eden Prairie Community Foundation, COVID-19 Response Fund, 8080 Mitchell Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55344. For questions, contact Weber at mweber@epcommunityfoundation.org.

Melissa Turtinen is the community editor for Lakeshore Weekly News and Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.

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