Third food giveaway to serve about 350 families
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Third food giveaway to serve about 350 families

About 350 families will be given 25,000 pounds of food on Dec. 15 during the third food giveaway in Vermillion.

The giveaway is a three-way partnership between the Vermillion Food Pantry, the Vermillion Weekend Backpack Program and Feeding South Dakota, and will help address the community’s high poverty and food insecurity rates.

According to, Clay County has a food insecurity rate of 16.8 percent. And 37 percent of Vermillion’s residents are living in poverty, according to the US Census Bureau.

Jessica McKenzie, director of the food pantry, said December is the pantry’s busiest month. In fact, last December was the biggest month in the pantry’s history.

McKenzie and the other organizers are hoping that this event will be their biggest and most organized, she said. During the first giveaway last May, they served 214 families. At the end of July, during the second giveaway, 275 families were given food.

Some new features to this year’s giveaway include a children’s area with crafts and activities, a visit from Santa and complimentary baked goods with hot drinks.

“In general we’re trying to make the atmosphere more inviting and festive,” McKenzie said.

The giveaway is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. at the National Guard Armory Dec. 15.