October 2022 Volume 33; Issue 1

You can view the complete newsletter here.


From the Executive Director's Desk

October is the first month of the agency fiscal year and the beginning of LIHEAP season. Fiscal year closeout is underway and preparations for LIHEAP are as well. Funding provided under the ARPA federal programs is nearly all spent or returned. Congress is operating on a Continuing Resolution (CR), which funds activities through December 17, 2022. The CR provided an additional $1 billion dollars for LIHEAP. The exact amount for Iowa is still to be determined.

We have started service in the new 10-county service territory for W.I.C. These counties include Lyon, Sioux, Plymouth, Cherokee, O’Brien, Osceola, Clay, Dickinson, Emmett, and Palo Alto. Thanks to Cindy Harpenau and all of the staff who worked very hard to prepare for this transition. Ida County is now in a new service region which includes Woodbury County. Woodbury District Health is the provider of W.I.C. in Ida County. We are working with them to provide a smooth transition.

Audit, for the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2022, has already started. Auditors have been in-house to look at compliance matters and will visit us again to look at the financial/number side of the audit. We had a very busy year with all of the additional funds under the federal Covid assistance programs.

Sharon Heidesch has retired as Fiscal/Human Resources Director effective October 1, 2022. Sharon is staying on part-time through December to assist with the transition. Thank you, Sharon, for 45 years of dedicated service to Mid-Sioux. You have made a very positive impact with Mid-Sioux, and we thank you for your time and hard work.

Tammy Nilles has assumed the role of Fiscal Director. Tammy has been with the agency in the accounting department for over 20 years. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position. Congratulations Tammy.

Miranda Monroy is our new Human Resources Director effective October 1, 2022. Miranda has experience in the health field as well as with non-profits. Welcome to Mid-Sioux, Miranda, we are very pleased that you have joined us. November will be busy with holiday projects and preparations for calendar year-end activity.

The harvest is nearly over and from what I hear, we have been fortunate to have a good crop once again.

Enjoy the remainder of our fall weather.

Dick Sievers
Executive Director


Head Start/Early Head Start

A Healthy Outside Starts From The Inside!

Child nutrition is an important component in Early Head Start and Head Start. Our program designs and implements nutrition services that are culturally and developmentally appropriate for our children. Meeting the nutritional needs and accommodating the feeding requirement for each child, including those with special dietary needs and those with disabilities is a priority. We follow CACFP (Child and Adult Food Program) guidelines which are sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Head Start and Toddler Centers serve meals in a family-style setting for breakfast, lunch and snack. Meals and snacks are provided to those in full-day services, with providing one-third to one-half of the child’s daily nutritional needs. Meals and snacks conform to the USDA requirements and are high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar and salt. Centers also make sure access to safe drinking water is available throughout the day to all the children.

Early Head Start promotes breastfeeding education and information to all expectant parents and encourages healthy choices by using nutrition and educational activities in their homes for infants and toddlers. Healthy snacks and meals are also provided to families during group socializations in the home-based option.

Healthy children make better learners. Our programs model healthy eating and being active in school. Showing healthy food choices in the home and at the center in hopes to increase healthy choices and reinforce that health and well-being for children are valued!


Child Care Collaborative of Iowa

Mid-Sioux Opportunity has secured the role of Financial Management Consultants (FMC) for the Child Care Collaborative of Iowa (CCCI) program. We will assist child-care programs, across the state, to implement one of the identified CCMS software programs and work towards better business practices.

Learn more here: Introducing the Child Care Collaborative of Iowa



We are currently taking sign-ups for the Holiday Food Program. With this program, we are able to provide a household with everything to prepare either a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Our regular food pantry is also available at the Cherokee Outreach office. Clients can stop once every 30 days to get a sack of groceries. The Cherokee Food Pantry is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 8 AM-4 PM.

The Cherokee Police Department has partnered with Mid-Sioux Outreach in Cherokee County to provide a Christmas for 100 children that would otherwise not have a Christmas. Families that are not able to participate in that program may still contact us to sign up for the Mid-Sioux Holiday Gift Program.

The Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP) is in full swing. Through the LiHEAP program, we are able to help provide heating assistance payments to income-qualified households. We will be taking applications by appointment for this program through April 30th. Give us a call here at the Cherokee office at 712-225-3322 to set up that appointment and we will let you know what to bring with you.

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Cherokee County are still accepting applications as well. Please call our office if you are interested in completing an application for preschool or home-based programs and we will be glad to help you.

For all program applications, please give us a call. We can tell you everything you need to bring to complete an application. Our phone number in Cherokee is 712-225-3322 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You can always reach us the other 2 days of the week in LeMars at 712-546-6603.

Written by


Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc. is a not-for-profit Community Action Agency established in 1965 to fight poverty at a local level by assisting low-income families in Northwest Iowa to become self-sufficient.

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