SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — COVID-19 has many families changing their Thanksgiving day plans and holding gatherings with fewer people. At the same time, many families are struggling to make ends meet. In Positively KELOLAND, local Hy-Vee stores are taking their smiles beyond the aisles with special meals to help out.
Ask almost anyone here, this Thanksgiving won’t look the same.
“Just getting together the family, my wife, my two kids,” Hy-Vee store director Dale Mitchell said.
“Just my partner and I at home for the holidays this year,” Hy-Vee regional marketing manager Sarah Bol said
Congressman Dusty Johnson was invited today to help with the loading. Like everyone else, he says his family has a new holiday plan.
“Given the situation this year, we’re keeping it smaller than we normally would. My wife and I and our three sons. We’ll cook up some good food at home and do it that way,” Congressman Dusty Johnson said.
But Thanksgiving celebrations aren’t the only change this year, more families are struggling to buy food.
“We saw that there was a definite need that was amplified this year because of Covid for those families who are in need and being affected and impacted by everything that’s going on,” Bol said.
“Today the seven Hy-Vee food stores in Sioux Falls are getting together to feed the need to help fight hunger here in our city. We’re packaging 600 meals today to distribute throughout local organizations to make sure that people have an extra special Thanksgiving meal,” Mitchell said.
Organizations including the St. Francis House, which got 75 meals today.
“The ability to give them that gift of a Thanksgiving meal that they can have at their home and know that they can be safe and they don’t have to go out and find something is a pretty precious gift,” St. Francis House executive director Julie Becker said.
“There will be four cans of vegetables, stuffing, potatoes and a voucher for a free turkey, pie and rolls at a Hy-Vee store. They get a complete meal for a family of four,” Mitchell said.
The people known for “smiles in the aisles” want you to know that this thankful gift comes from the heart.
“We know things are hard, but we’re happy to be able to do whatever we can to make it a little easier for everyone here. I hope that everyone knows that this was packed with joy and care from Hy-Vee to all of your families,” Bol said.
Hy-Vee is donating 80,000 Thanksgiving meals company wide.