As the Holiday season approaches USD, two organizations in Vermillion are open to feed those in need.
While Charlie’s Cupboard is not holding a holiday-specific event, the university-run food service is still open on certain days throughout the Holiday Break. During the break, Dec. 20 and Jan. 3 are open for all students from 4 to 6 p.m. These days follow Charlie’s Cupboard’s last normally scheduled day, which is planned for Thursday, Dec. 8 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Along with the planned pick-up days, Charlie’s Cupboard offers to assist students in receiving their goods. If a student emails Charlie’s Cupboard, they may be able to have an alternative pickup time for their food.
Similar to Charlie’s Cupboard, Feeding Vermillion plans to provide people in Clay County with holiday food. Located on 16 N Dakota Street, the organization runs the Welcome Table building. Normally, an open table event for people to eat free is held every Monday, and a weekend backpack food event is held every Thursday.
Throughout December, both events are still going to be held on Monday and Thursday to feed those in need in Vermillion. For the holidays specifically, Vermillion citizens can register for a Holiday Meal Box that includes traditional holiday foods. To register for a Holiday Box, a survey must be filled out on the Feeding Vermillion website by Friday, Dec. 9. Feeding Vermillion director John Lushbough and volunteers heavily discussed the inside of the box before making it.
“You never know what people might want for their holiday meal. It also depended on what we were able to get donated for our boxes. We tried to get all the holiday essentials,” Lushbough said. “People can either choose turkey, ham or pork loins for their meat. Then you have your typical mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, vegetables, mushroom soup and fresh bread.”
Lushbough said around 100 people have registered for boxes, but Feeding Vermillion is equipped to make 200 more if needed. With the donations from the local HyVee and Walmart, Feeding Vermillion has many reliable food sources to provide for local people. Even with the donations being made, Lushbough says they are always welcoming donations and volunteers.
“It’s a dark time for some, and the number of people coming for help has doubled in a really short amount of time. More help is always appreciated, since it’s such a busy time for all. The amount of volunteers is always unbelievable. Having such genuine and kind help makes it so much easier to give to all the people in need,” Lushbough said.
For both Feeding Vermillion and Charlie’s Cupboard, volunteer work is available for anyone to join. Registering to volunteer for both can be done online, and the services encourage any person with free time to sign up during the holidays. Donations of cash can be done online for both services.
Charlie’s Cupboard suggests donations of food to be dropped off in either the MUC or the dropboxes in the Sanford School of Medicine or the Knudson Law School. Feeding Vermillion accepts their food donations dropped off in the Welcome Table building.