Each year, the Teton Meal Support program helps alleviate food insecurity for hundreds of students in Teton County’s public schools. Led by TCSD#1’s Food Services Director, Wesley Clarke, the program encompasses several essential initiatives.
- Free and reduced lunches: Although state and federal programs provide free or reduced-cost lunches, the unique economic conditions in Jackson (higher wages combined with a much higher cost of living) mean that many families who need help don’t qualify under these programs. Teton Meal Support ensures that every student who needs a free or reduced meal gets it.
- School lunch debt: School lunch debt is a major problem for districts across the nation. In Jackson, this debt runs at around $20,000 per year. Thanks to generous donors from the community, and the hard work of participating families, much of this debt can be forgiven each year, easing the stigma and stress that students feel every time they approach the lunch line.
- Munger Market: This pioneering program provides free snacks and weekend meals to nearly 200 third, fourth, and fifth grade students at Munger Mountain Elementary School. The market is designed with 3 key purposes in mind: 1) to ensure kids get the meals they need, 2) to reduce the stigma associated with food insecurity, and 3) to help kids learn about positive nutritional choices. Partnerships with local organizations like Hole Food Rescue also help reduce food waste and keep our community green. We look forward to expanding the Market to other schools in the coming years.