RAPID CITY, SD — This is the third year of Wall Meats’ Beef-to-School program and they’re going strong.
Co-owner Ken Charfauros says he heard about the idea at a governors’ summit and presented the idea to the wall’s economic and agricultural committee. Schools in western South Dakota are taking note.
“We have 16 schools on board,” says Charfauros. “We’re processing…probably this year we’ve done 30,000 pounds of beef in our schools.”
They worked with nearly 70 growers on the community effort.
“I think it’s important for the schools, because of course it’s local protein, and for the producers, it also helps them to be able to give back to their community and support the children,” says the nephew. of Ken, Dan Charfauros, plant manager. in the formation.
Wall Meats, a family business, says there is also an economic benefit.
“Our producers get involved in their community by donating beef, or we can buy [that] beef from producers who agree to sell us beef for the Beef to School program,” adds Charfauros. “It keeps the economy here; or income here in the region.
Charfauros says schools are not only providing healthier meals, but also saving money.
“They would buy beef products from us…or protein…and then any savings they can make, they can channel into other foods within the school; they can buy fresher vegetables, fresher fruits,” says Charfauros.
Wall Meats is looking to expand the program and already has more schools interested.