SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The best way to make friends is through food, and that was the goal of the First Fruit Harvest Festival.
The Union Gospel Mission brought the food, but the neighborhood brought the heart.
“We just want to invite the community, specifically the Whittier community, but it’s open to everybody, just to all enjoy a meal and also learn about the resources in Sioux Falls that can help,” said Youth Advisory Board Coordinator Katana Thompson.
A large focus of the event is the free meal.
“What is something that could really impact the community and what could bring everybody together in unity, not just the people on Eighth Street, and not just the homeless shelters, but the neighborhoods. And so they said, ‘What can unite people better than food?’,” said Thompson.
However, once the people get there, they were given something much more valuable than a meal.
“So there are many different resources here that are nonprofits, but they’re also free resources. So if you’re trying to figure out housing applications, if you’re trying to figure out different programs in schools, if you need to do health care, all free to the community, all you have to do is sign up and be willing to learn. So reaching the needs of the community beyond just today,” said Thompson.
“I believe it’s so important because it brings the community together. Tonight, it’s with food and fellowship. And so if that’s a way we can meet the people where they’re at, that’s our starting point. We want to we want to do that,” said Collision Vendor Lue Domanskaya.
So whether people came for the meal, the resources, or just the community aspect, it’s all a win at the end of the day.
“So hearing them be like, this is so awesome. This is what our community needs. It just lights me up and gets me excited,” said Thompson.
The event saw a good turnout and people could even take a pumpkin home for the first day of fall if they wanted to.