The Columbia Public Schools Foundation (CPSF) donated $25,000 to Columbia Public Schools (CPS) to support the district’s efforts to continue to provide meals to students throughout the summer.
The Foundation’s donation is part of a partnership with the CoMoHELPS COVID-19 Fund, which is a collaborative effort of Boone County, the Community Foundation of Central Missouri, the City of Columbia, the Heart of Missouri United Way, and the Veterans United Foundation. In total, $120,000 will be donated to CPS for the summer meal program, which includes $25,000 from CPSF, $75,000 from the Heart of Missouri United Way, $15,000 from the other organizations in the CoMoHELPS fund, and $5,000 from the Anderson Family Charitable Foundation.
“We are happy to step up to serve our community during this time of need,” said Cindy Mustard, president of the CPSF Board of Directors. “The Foundation is proud to join together with other community organizations to support our students and their families when they need the most help.”
Currently, CPS is serving 1,300 meals per day at more than 80 bus stops and two homeless shelters. CPS anticipates more families will be experiencing situational poverty this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a projected 52,000 meals needed over June and July, when the district will not be in session. The donation will provide funding for breakfast and lunch in daily meal kits, and will help with the bus transportation for meal delivery and also offset any unreimbursed food costs.
The Foundation previously donated $25,000 to CPS in April to fund up to 325 high school students to enroll in online classes during the month of May. The donation allowed the district to offer the online courses while the school year was still considered in session by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The Columbia Public Schools Foundation is a private foundation established by community volunteers dedicated to the enrichment of public education through community giving. The Foundation has funded projects in every school, allocating more than $1.2 million to enhance education in the Columbia Public Schools. CPSF was founded in 1996 and has supported teachers and students for more than 24 years.