SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Now that Halloween is over, a South Dakota non-profit is changing gears and getting ready for Thanksgiving. This month Feeding South Dakota is planning on giving away 6,000 traditional Thanksgiving meals.

From cranberry sauce to green beans to stuffing, the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal is more expensive this year.

“We are all seeing it. In the grocery stores when you’re getting gas. Inflation is hitting a lot of families right now. We’re seeing it at Feeding South Dakota,” said Megan Kjose, who is the development director at Feeding South Dakota.

Despite the increase, thousands of holiday meals will make their way from this warehouse to homes across the state.

“This is just an extra way that we’re able to provide our guests an extra Thanksgiving meal, so in October, we serve 900 more households and families than we did in September,” said Kjose. “That increase is a true testament to what we’re seeing at a national level.”

For an event like this, Feeding South Dakota needs roughly 250 volunteers.

“In the planning of all of that, we certainly will need volunteers to help us get all of that food ready, whether it’s packing boxes or bags, or helping the day of the event. So many hands are necessary to make it all happen smoothly,” said Jennifer Stensaas, who is the community engagement manager at Feeding South Dakota.

Stensaas has worked with Feeding South Dakota for 15 years and says giving back to the community keeps her motivated.

“But nothing beats the faces when you’re putting food in their cars and they’re so very grateful for that food assistance,” said Stensaas.

With Thanksgiving being centered around family and food, this holiday is special to Feeding South Dakota.

“You want to have your loved ones around the table and spend time with them. And so being able to provide that Thanksgiving meal is really important,” said Kjose.

1,500 meals will be handed out in both Rapid City and Sioux Falls areas.
This will be on Saturday, November 18 starting at 8 a.m. at the fairgrounds in both cities.

This is a first come first serve drive-through style pickup. In these take-home kits you will be able to cook them yourself. Inside them, you can expect a turkey breast along with some dry goods like boxed stuffing, canned green beans, potatoes and cranberry sauce.

Click here for more information about Feeding South Dakota.