School supply giveaways for South Dakota families in need are changing or canceled

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 1:22 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota families in need who have received school supplies in the past are being asked to adjust to changes.

While the Lake County Food Pantry in Madison is not able to sponsor their annual school supply distribution this year, The Banquet in Sioux Falls will continue their giveaway.

Volunteers will have around 6,500 backpacks filled with school supplies, ready to be handed out to kids who would otherwise go without.

This year at The Banquet, Project SOS, or Supply our Students is replacing the mass one-day giveaway with a staggered distribution to small groups at their downtown location.

Executive Director Tamera Jerke-Liesinger of The Banquet describes the changes put in place to protect families during the pandemic.

"That will go over the course of two weeks, small distribution times people will sign up to the day that they're going to come," said Jerke-Liesinger.

Another solution to getting supplies to kids has been found.

"We were approached by the helpline center a few weeks ago with this amazing opportunity, a grant that they received that would allow for the delivery of the backpacks with the school supplies," said Jerke-Liesinger.

Whether you choose to schedule a time to pick up a backpack or have them delivered, volunteers will try to personalize each request.

"In the signup form, there's a dropbox that asks what the child's favorite color is or what their color bag preference might be, and we'll try to honor that to the best of our ability," said Jerke-Liesinger.

Registration for the SOS backpack giveaway is available online or by calling The Banquet or 211-Helpline.

If you are in a position to give, school supplies are gratefully accepted.

“We would be just honored if they would think about the kids that are going to get their bags through us, and maybe pick up a few supplies to donate to the banquet,” said Jerke-Liesinger.

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