Second annual First Fruits Harvest Festival feeds nearly 1,000

Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 4:41 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The second annual First Fruits Harvest Festival, a community dinner that aimed to serve more than 1,000 people using only local food products, took place on Saturday.

Organizers said it’s meant to provide an understanding of where our food comes from and how to build community around it.

Several local organizations came together to help make the event possible including the Union Gospel Mission and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls.

The dinner was also coordinated with Rock the Block, a group working to revitalize the Whittier Neighborhood.

“Seventy percent of the houseless population of South Dakota is in Whittier,” said Jordan Deffenbaugh with the Community Revitalization Project. “You have a situation where Whittier takes on a boatload of challenges. We’ve identified it as a neighborhood that needs support. So we want to build up social cohesion, a sense of community, and see how we can collectively act on neighborhood issues.”

The festival was the end of the season for the CRP, but Deffenbaugh said they plan to reconvene in about a month.