Inmates donate money to The Banquet after freezer quits working

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – After a malfunctioning sprinkler spoiled $15,000 worth of frozen food in The Banquet’s freezer, it is now back up and running. While that is a lot of food to replace, one group has stepped up to help.

The Banquet serves hundreds of meals every day. So, when a faulty sprinkler damaged several thousand dollars of food, it was a big loss to the nonprofit.

Inmates at the South Dakota Penitentiary wanted to help.

“The fact that they thought of that and knew they are people who rely on that food in that freezer and let’s restock that, is really great,” executive director, Tamera Jerke-Liesinger said.

The inmates raise money through pizza parties. The men buy pizzas and part of the proceeds goes to a charity.

“The guys were able to raise some more money and would like to donate to The Banquet so they can recover from their loss and keep feeding people in this community, some of them may be former residents of ours, maybe some of their families, some of their victims’ families, but this community has this and we want to make sure they get fed every day,” warden, Darin Young said.

The inmates donated more than $3,100, which will go a long ways.

“When you think about the average cost of a single meal here is $2.25 per plate, think about $3,150, that goes a long ways so that’s really going to help us restock our frozen inventory,” Jerke-Liesinger said.

It’s not only a gift to The Banquet, it’s a gift to the community.

“Giving back to others is important, these guys have been known as takers for so many times, and many of them don’t feel good about the damage they’ve done, this gives them a little more self-worth and a chance to give back to people they’ve maybe taken from in the past,” Young said.

The inmates do this donation a few times a year. The money goes to different organizations each time.

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