SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Banquet in Sioux Falls serves tens of thousands of free meals to those in need every year. In order to make that happen, it needs a lot of community support.
The Banquet’s Run For Food has been a part of the Kringstad’s Thanksgiving tradition for almost ten years now.
“We wake up and we dress warm and then we come here and then we usually walk or run,” Violet said.
This year twins Violet and Lillian chose to jog it out at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds. It’s all in an effort to raise money for an organization that feeds the hungry.
“On Thanksgiving, not everyone’s fortunate to have a big meal or have everything that other people do,” Lillian said.
“This is one of the best traditions Sioux Falls has to offer by far and away. It’s a great fundraiser. It’s no frills. Bring everyone out. Have fun, give high fives. It’s the best way to start a thankful day,” Koch said.
605 Running Company owner Greg Koch is spending his morning encouraging others enthusiastically.
“I ran the first loop with a couple of guys. Felt like it was time to just turn around and start giving high fives. Made sense to me at the time. So it worked,” Koch said.
He’s not the only one excited about the Run For Food. Banquet Executive Director Tamera Jerke-Liesinger says it’s a growing event and one that sees a lot of kids participating.
“To think that people would come out in the cold on Thanksgiving morning to do something that’s going to benefit somebody that they might never even meet. It’s a very humbling experience,” Jerke-Liesinger said.
All of these people have raised $32,000 today. On top of money, The Banquet is also in great need of your time.
“We’re expanding to Banquet West in a few months. We’re going to need more volunteers to serve more meals. So again, events like this that just show how much the community will step up and help The Banquet. We’re so grateful,” Jerke-Liesinger said.
It’s full circle support. With their run in the books, the Kringstad’s are preparing for what’s next.
“We all just eat and then watch football,” Lillian said.
Little sister Sophie is glad she got out of the house for a bit ahead of today’s festivities.
“It’s much funner because I get more energy,” Sophie said.
Energy that might fade once the family serves up today’s turkey.
The Banquet will be serving its guests a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings every Thanksgiving. It’s always looking for volunteers to provide or serve meals at one of its locations throughout the year.