It’s very important you watch this video:
Rob Williams, Executive Director and Founder of The Sheridan Story, shares about the next phase of TSS’ weekend food program. This video contains very important information, some of which is not found elsewhere on this website.
Why is TSS making this change?
We have found that with the previous model our program has become segregated by areas where funding is available. We’ve found that the areas and schools with limited funding is often where our program is most needed. We want to be able to provide food to all kids that need it.
The whole reason we are changing the model – at every school we work, our program will be open to every child in the school. In all our schools, we will provide food to every child that signs up. Right now, we have wait lists at schools because there isn’t Sponsor funding available to that school. There will no longer be wait lists – there will no longer be children we know of at our schools waiting for the food they need. In this new model – if they are at one of our schools and they need the food – they will get it – right away.
After such tremendous programmatic growth, we have identified that our previous model has become a barrier to serving more kids. This year, if we had already transitioned to this new model, we could have served thousands more children with the food they need to learn and grow.
When is this effective?
This model is effective for the 2018-2019 school year and beyond.
Who made this decision?
TSS staff have been having this conversation for about 9 months. The TSS staff consulted with several existing and new Sponsors for their feedback on the new model as part of our decision process. Ultimately, the decision was made by the TSS Leadership staff with input from the Board of Directors.
Will there ever be a waitlist at our school?
No. That’s why we are making this change.
What if TSS doesn’t have enough money to feed all the kids at our school?
Our program will be open to every child at every school in our program. If funding is limited, we won’t add additional new schools to our program at that time (which is also how we operated in our previous model).
Do we need to pay it all at once?
We can be flexible on timeline of your donation. We’ll work with you on a donation commitment document and you can decide on the frequency. It can be one time, monthly, a couple times, it’s not strict to one option.
Can we just donate, or do we have to volunteer?
Yes, you can certainly donate only. The volunteer component is important, but it’s also the easier component to find. Sometimes the school even has a PTA that is able or even wants to do the volunteering. Also – not all Sponsors can cover the full cost of the program at their partner school, so your donation would certainly be very helpful even if you can’t volunteer.
What’s going to happen to the money I currently have in my Sponsor account with TSS?
Any funding you currently have in your accounts with TSS will not be effected until we agree on a path forward. That money was donated with an understanding of how it would be utilized and together we will determine options. Liz on our team will open that conversation with you.
Why is the cost per child per school year now $215?
In the previous model, we asked the Sponsors to contribute $130 per child per school year. That amount was established 5 years ago from an estimate based on 35 weeks of the program per school year. The $130 ended up covering about 60% of the total cost of our program and TSS fundraised separately for the additional 40%.
Now that we are moving to this new model, it’s best if we have just one figure to use as the approximate cost of a child for a school year. The full 100% cost is about $215 per child per school year for our weekend food program. This figure is a more comprehensive representation of the actual cost, and it includes 37 weeks of the program with three additional bags for Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring Breaks. $215 is the number we will be using going forward this year.
What does the cost include?
The cost per child per school year is based on program expenses: food, vehicles, deliveries, the bag and box, etc.
What if I don’t want my money being used this way?
Is my organization still the direct partner with our school?
Absolutely! This change in no way subtracts from the relationship and engagement you have directly with your partner school. Your volunteer and relationship efforts with your school are incredibly important and we want those to remain, grow, and be strong everywhere that they are possible.
How will this change effect volunteering?
This change shouldn’t have much, if any, effect on your volunteer efforts – other than there may be more children enrolled next year. If you aren’t able to manage the volunteer efforts for the increased number of kids, please notify your Program Coordinator at TSS. She/he will work with you on this component.
Can we just volunteer, or is funding required?
We ask that every group working with a school donate an amount that is meaningful to them towards the program. Again, ideally it covers the full cost, but we know that’s not possible for everyone. So, we would ask you to look at your budget to consider what you can give.
What are the next steps?
For your donation commitment – you will receive an email from Liz on our team. She’ll be working with you on that going forward.
For your volunteer efforts with the schools – your TSS Program Coordinator will connect with you this Spring.
Do we need to sign something for the 2018-2019 school year?
Liz on our team will work with you on a donor commitment form, just to be sure we’re on the same page. This was called a sponsor commitment summary last year.
If you are engaged in volunteering with the school, then we will still have the Working Arrangements document, which is signed by you (the sponsor), TSS, and the school.
How can I best support TSS now?
-Relating to your partnership with TSS as a Sponsor, it’s of course ideal if you are able to cover the full cost for all children in your school, or even better if you can contribute more to help with other programs. However, we know not every Sponsor is able to give at the level of the need for their partner school. We want you to look at your budget and fundraising capabilities and see what you are able to contribute to the program.
-Continue to be the volunteer Sponsor at your partner school.
-There are many other great ways to support TSS including food drives, packing events, and more: https://www.everymeal.org/get-involved/
Who do I talk to with questions?
-Donation Commitment: Liz Tenpas
-Volunteering: your Program Coordinator
-Specific questions/concerns: Rob Williams
Info Session #1 – conference call Wednesday 4/4, 1:00pm
Info Session #2 – conference call Thursday 4/5, 9:00am
Info Session #3 – conference call Monday 4/9, 2:00pm
Info Session #4 – at TSS Thursday 4/12, 11:00am