For the 11th year in a row, SDN provided and served at least one meal at The Banquet, a nondenominational ministry in Sioux Falls that offers free meals to hungry people.
The Banquet relies on volunteers to pay for the meal, cook the food, serve the meal, and clean up the dining hall afterward.
“We’d be sunk without our volunteers,” Madeline Shields, special events director at The Banquet, said.
SDN and volunteers from the company helped The Banquet provide meals since 2003, and they expect to keep helping the organization, in some fashion, in the future.
Through its involvement with The Banquet, SDN can address a fundamental human and community need, says Abby Vostad, an executive assistant at SDN.
“It’s really nice to see employees from all the departments gather together, have fun, serve a meal, and help people who don’t have as much as we do. It’s rewarding for everyone,” Vostad said.
Vostad is the 2014 chairperson of the company’s Great Ideas Group, or GIG, an employee-engagement and morale-building committee.
Banquet expands services
The Banquet serves 11 meals a week at 900 E. Eighth St. in the Downtown Sioux Falls area.
Breakfast – 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday-Friday
Dinner – 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m Monday-Friday
Lunch – 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday
And beginning February 12, the non-profit organization will add a 12th meal: a Wednesday evening meal at the Nordstrom-Johnson Multi-Purpose Building at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds.
The Banquet’s staff relies on about 1,200 serving groups – including businesses, churches, service clubs, friendship clubs, and families – to provide and serve meals. Getting enough volunteers lined up to provide and serve breakfast is especially challenging, Shields says. But there are many ways to help:
- Serve as a Group: Groups interested in serving may check out the Volunteer Calendar on the Serve A Meal page of The Banquet’s website. Prospective volunteers also may contact Office Manager Deb McMahon at Deb@TheBanquetSF.org or call her at 605-335-7066.
- Donate: People and organizations that want to help feed needy families also may contribute money to the nonprofit organization.
- Serve as an individual: People who would like to help serve and fund a meal but are not affiliated with a group are invited to contact The Banquet, too. They will be assigned to a group.
- On-Call Volunteers: In addition, The Banquet maintains a list of volunteers who can be contacted at the last minute for help when a scheduled group is short on workers.
Helping supply students
Vostad is among those occasionally contacted to help The Banquet line up a few extra volunteers on short notice. She relays the request for help to SDN employees, and Vostad says they have always helped fill the gap.
SDN and its employees also assist The Banquet with its special, yearly Project S.O.S., which stands for Supply Our Students. Through Project SOS, The Banquet provided backpacks filled with school supplies to 6,700 needy students this school year. SDN is among the organizations that helps collect money and supplies for the project.
The Banquet currently seeks monetary donations to buy backpacks and supplies for the next distribution, which will be held at Whittier Middle School prior to the start of the 2014-2015 school year.
SDN’s participation in such a program reflects its belief that being a great company starts with being a good corporate citizen.
SDN and its employees routinely give back to communities in the region through a variety of sponsorships, employee donations and volunteerism. To learn more about community service provided to The Banquet and other programs, visit SDN Communications' Community Service page.