The Barrel House Hungry Hearts Day

October 14, 2017

Raised more than $70,000
Raffle Prizes, Silent & Live Auction, Food Donations
Bake Sale and General Donations


At 10 elementary schools in the Sioux Falls School District,
70% or more of students qualify for free or reduced lunch
due to income constraints.

In a staggering number of homes right here in Sioux Falls, many children have just one meal they can count on most days: their school lunch. But what happens when a family doesn’t qualify for the federally funded Free/Reduced Lunch Program?  Or when the parent/guardian has not filled out the necessary paperwork?

  • A letter goes home in either the child’s backpack (elementary) or by mail (secondary).

  • Middle and High School students are verbally reminded each day that the account has a negative balance.

  • The child can “charge” up to 5 meals on their account, resulting in a negative balance that must be paid.

  • After 5 charged meals, the student receives a “Smart Snack,” a lighter, pre-packed food combo.

  • If, after 15 snacks, the parent is unable to pay the ever-increasing balance from these “charged” snacks (a common problem), the child can no longer be served.

These scenarios happen all too often here in our community, causing heartache for both the  hungry child as well as the school personnel who know the importance of a nourishing meal.

A big thank you to all who made Hungry Hearts Day (October 14, 2017) a huge success.

The total raised as of October 30, 2017 is $86,000.

“It is important to note this does not impact students who do qualify for free and reduced lunch. DeeAnn Konrad with community relations for the district says those kids always have regularly provided meals. However, Konrad says there are families who may not meet federal guidelines for that program who still may have trouble affording lunch or keeping up with payments on their accounts. Konrad says the district is grateful for the money from the Barrel House because this will help those students. Fonder expects to give a check to the district next month.”

But we’re not done.

The original winner of the Hot Tub Raffle, a 5-person Caldera Spa ($7,500 value) has donated their winning back to the Hungry Hearts cause, asking us to please use it to raise more money! And so we will!

Auction ends Monday, November 6, 2017 at 10:00 pm


A big thank you to the TV Stations, Newspaper and Radio Stations who have featured the Hungry Hearts Fundraiser to ensure a great turnout! Take a look at some of the stories below:

  • Keloland – October 30, 2017 view
  • Argus Leader – October 23, 2017 view
  • Keloland – October 11, 2017 view
  • MIX 97.3FM – October 10, 2017 view
  • Argus Leader – October 5, 2017 view
  • Journal Sentinal (USA Today) – October 5, 2017 view
  • Argus Leader – September 28, 2017 view
  • Keloland – September 21, 2017 view

In the interest of clarifying some confusion, I would like to hear if there is anyone in the Sioux Falls area whose child has had days at school in the past year when they have not been served a meal. Or maybe it’s not your child but you know of other kiddos who may have gone without?

It is truly my hope that we have somehow been misinformed of what is happening at the school level- that would be GREAT news as it means that the ball is already rolling in the right direction & our donation efforts will only help! But if that is not the case and kids are, in fact, going without meals, and I’d really like to hear your story.

 *PLEASE do not use anyone else’s names– our goal is not to embarrass anyone or make private family matters public. And I’m also not trying to stir the pot here… I’m just looking for honest, first-hand accounts. We’re genuinely trying to help!

We at The Barrel House are only try to help! 

I just think some of the statistics we are getting from some sources are not accurate from the first hand encounters we have been told about. I hope and pray they are not true!

Mark Fonder

The Barrel House

Share this great event to YOUR friends by clicking below!

Raffle or Auction Item

We are collecting donations for Raffle Prizes, Live Auction and Door Prizes until Thursday, October 12th. If you have an item you’d like to donate, please click here to be taken to our donation form. You can also contact any event committee member (listed below) and we can arrange for your donated item to be picked up.

Donate Now

The easiest way to make sure your dollars make an impact is to donate directly to the event. A separate fund called the Barrel House Hungry Hearts has been established at Great Western Bank where you can make a direct deposit. You can also drop your monetary donation off at The Barrel House or click here to make a donation online now.

How Can I Help?


It is our goal for this to be a fun family event for everyone to enjoy! We will have things needing to be put together, setup and tear down before and after the event, so please contact one of the event coordinators and we will find a place for you!

Spread the Word

With all the amazing help we have arranged as well as the great items that have been donated, we need a crowd to make this event a success! Please download a copy of our event flyer and hang up at your work, post on your Facebook, Instragram and Twitter, invite your friends and family, and mark that you are GOING to the Hungry Hearts Fundraiser on Facebook!


Mark Fonder

(605) 728-2919


Jesse Severson

(605) 553-6552


Melissa Chinn

(605) 310-7563