Volunteers from Coyoteopoly took bags around the town of Vermillion for their annual food drive last week and will pick them up Oct. 27.
The CEO of the food drive Jeff Heier said Coyoteopoly is a very community-based
“We are trying to connect the University of South Dakota campus with the community that they are associated with,” Heier said. “Coyoteopoly is building a supportive community in order to provide stability and hope for an enduring future.”
Preparations and financial aspects of Coyoteopoly are handled through a Board of Directors class Heier is in.
“It gives the kids the opportunities to use everything they have learned in school and apply it to something,” Heier said. “It gives the community pride in, ‘Look what these students have done,’ and gives the teachers the ability to see what they have been teaching their students for so long and putting it into action.”
Through this class, Heier said the students run Coyoteopoly like a business and are very self-sufficient.
Director of the Vermillion Food Pantry Mary Berglin said the support for the food pantry comes from the Vermillion community.
“This food pantry has (this year) fed 3,526 people, which is more than all of the people we fed last year,” Berglin said. “We are just growing and growing, and we don’t get financial support from the city or the county, so this community is what supports the food pantry.”
Berglin said Coyoteopoly is the biggest food drive for the pantry.
“One of the reasons that it is so important is because the government commodity program has cut back so much on what’s available (for food pantries),” Berglin said. “This is the food drive that we will coast on through the winter. It’s the students that make this happen.”
First-year Zane Frederick said he was interested in volunteering with Coyoteopoly because he enjoys volunteering.
“Being able to be a part of that (food drive) is something that I am grateful for and happy to do because I have been blessed with a good life and with the ability to help people that need a helping hand,” Frederick said. “Doing something like this is good for everybody, because the people that need help get it, and the people that volunteer get the moral reward and that warm feeling inside that you get when you help people, and that is something that I cherish.”
Sophomore Charles Gageby said he decided to help with Coyoteopoly because it was for a good cause.
“The people who were in charge were very organized and were great at advertising the event,” Gageby said. “They came to many events and classes to allow others to hear about this opportunity to help the community. Overall it was a great way to get involved and help out around the