St. Francis House guests volunteer at the Banquet


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Everyone is social distancing because of coronavirus, including people who would normally be volunteering at the Banquet Sioux Falls.

But the Banquet got some unexpected help from some special people who know what it’s like to go hungry.

The downtown Banquet feeds close to 400 people a day. But now because of the coronavirus, instead of serving a hot meal, they are packaging meals to go.

That’s why guests from the St. Francis House stepped up to help.

“At first they were a little uncertain, because they didn’t know, but after yesterday we had a little bit of a battle, who was going to get to come today,” executive director of the St. Francis House Julie Becker said.

Like a lot of people, the guests from the St. Francis House have either been laid off from work or have reduced hours, so they decided this was a great way to use their time to help others and it’s appreciated.

“It’s been really humbling to see how people, even in a really hard times like this, who are willing to give back because they realize there are people who still need to eat,” Banquet’s executive director Tamera Jerke -Leiesinger said.

That need doesn’t go away, and with more people being laid off, it could get worse. That’s why volunteers are needed now more than ever.

“It’s a challenge for us everyday, just like it is for everybody right now, we are dealing with this the best we can, a number of our volunteers have chosen to cancel their serving dates, so we’ve been left to ask people in the community to help us so we can continue our ministry,” Jerke -Leiesinger said.

A ministry that is willing to continue to serve the community, even in the worst of times.

“Even though this covid crisis is scary and we are in uncertain times, we have to look at the positives and here is something that is pretty amazing,” Becker said.

The St. Francis House is going to help out at the Banquet again tomorrow and next week, as well.

If you’d like to volunteer at the Banquet or St. Francis House, you’re asked to give them a call, they’re always looking for volunteers.

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