Feeding South Dakota gives away 750 turkey dinners

Published: Nov. 23, 2019 at 6:43 PM CST
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The Sioux Empire has many families who may not be able to enjoy the luxury of a hot Thanksgiving meal this coming Thursday. That won't be the case for a few people this holiday. Feeding South Dakota gave away 750 turkeys to families in need Saturday morning.

Hundreds of cars lined the parking lot at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds to pick up a meal for Thanksgiving. Around 50 volunteers braved the frigid temperatures to help spread the holiday spirit.

As the sun rose at the fairgrounds cars lined up ready to get this year's Thanksgiving meal.

"It’s blowing my mind how long the line is. I got here at 5:30 this morning and there were already cars lined all the way up onto Madison," Feeding South Dakota Development Director, Christina Oey said.

Turkeys, pies and everyone's Thanksgiving favorite sides waiting to be picked up by those who need it most.

"It's always stressful at the holidays for anybody and some are less fortunate than others," Volunteer, Cindy Robshaw said.

Volunteers braved the November cold to pack cars with meals that will feed 750 families. Robshaw was one out of the 50 greeted and told everyone happy Thanksgiving.

"This giveaway is so much work. It’s awesome though because we get to see the entire organization statewide come together," Oey said.

One meal was given to each family. A maximum of two meals given to each car.

"I just think it says a lot about South Dakota. We all always come together to help each other as neighbors. It’s like old times from back in the day. Everybody help thy neighbor," Volunteer, Lillian Williams said.

"It feels like this time of year people are struggling whether they've lost their jobs or hours got cut at work. Just a lot of expenses at this time of the year," Volunteer, Kelsey Cordell said.

The holidays are often a sentimental time for families and Feeding South Dakota’s goal is to end hunger one turkey meal at a time.

"They’re very emotional, very grateful and just very thankful for this time of year," Oey said.

One man even trekked on foot all the way to the fairgrounds with a suitcase to get a meal. The Greg and Pam Sands Foundation matched a gift of $15,000 dollars to support this event.

Without donors and generous support, the giveaway wouldn't be possible. Feeding South Dakota gave away turkeys in Rapid City and Pierre as well Saturday morning.

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