NewsDecember 10 2014

A Season of Giving

Posted by Lucy

Last week businesses in Kennebec and Presho kicked off the holiday season by holding open houses giving away door prizes, holiday treats and refreshments to patrons during their respective

Christmas city-wide events.

Dalphine Varva picks out a calendar at Dakota Prairie Bank in Presho last Thursday during the Homespun Christmas Open House event.

Amber Comp, Presho and Conway Collins, Kennebec, won the gift baskets from Presho Chamber during the Homespun Christmas open house Thursday. Bank employees, l-r Justin Lester, Marilyn Walling and Meggan Brodrecht serve root beer floats to customers.

NewsDecember 10 2014

Local Food Pantry partners with Feeding South Dakota

Posted by Lucy

Lucy Halverson/LCH

The Presho Thrift Store’s food pantry has recently gained a partner that will help the organization keep food on the shelves for people who find themselves in need of assistance to feed their families.

The local Presho food pantry has become partners with Feeding South Dakota and will receive shelf stable items from the large warehouse facility located in Pierre once a month.

"The first delivery will be Wednesday," said Thrift Store board member Teresa Hanson. "We can use the help to keep food available when people need it."

The Presho Food Pantry can place an order for food online and have it delivered by the Feeding South Dakota truck once per month or can pick up items at the warehouse in Pierre.

There is no cost for the food items but partners are charged a Fair Share Handling fee to cover the cost of transporting donated food.

Russ Hofeldt, director of Feeding South Dakota said the maximum amount charged is 18 cents per pound, but it could be less.

"It depends on how far we have to transport donations of food," said Hofeldt.

Feeding South Dakota operates five program areas; Food Pantry, Backpack Program, Mobile Food Pantry, Commodity Distribution Program, and Food Bank Distribution Center out of three locations based in Sioux Falls, Pierre, and Rapid City.

Only the Pierre warehouse owns a Mobile Food Pantry truck that travels to 13 communities in central South Dakota to distribute food.

"The truck was purchased with grant funds that allow us to serve small communities without a local food pantry or access to a grocery store," said Hofeldt.

Due to distances involved, the mobile truck could not handle anymore communities as it visits each town once every six-weeks.

The Mobile Pantry visits the Lyman County towns of Reliance and Lower Brule.

"We target communities that have a need and no access to an established food pantry," said Hofeldt. The truck travels from Little

Eagle northwest of Pierre to Parmelee near the Nebraska border.

Feeding South Dakota also distributes the Commodity Senior Food Program, A USDA program that supplies food to seniors age 60 and over that meet income guidelines.

According to Darci Bultje of the Rural Office of Community Services at Lake Andes, the income limit for one-person household is $15,171, and $20,449 for a two-person household.

"Those numbers will probably change in 2015," said Bultje.

Senior citizens over 60 can apply for the Commodity program through the ROCS office or the local coordinator in Presho Susan Shear.

The commodity Program is offered in Reliance and Prersho and participates receive a box of food once per month. People living in other Lyman County communities can apply for the program but would have to pick up their box at the Reliance or Presho location.

These three locations provide hunger relief assistance to communities and organizations for a group of counties that make up their service territory. Rapid City serves the 12 most western counties, Pierre serves the 24 most central counties, and Sioux Falls covers the 30 most eastern counties in the state In total, Feeding South Dakota services 66 counties, with a total population of over 824,000 people.

Each year, Feeding South Dakota provides meals to more than 190,000 South Dakotans each year.

Along with donations of non-perishable food items, Feeding South Dakota utilizes dollar donations to cover the transportation costs of donated food items they receive from large food manufacturers through the Feeding America network. "Feeding America has created partnerships with virtually all food manufacturers. When there is a mistake in labeling or if there are overruns in production, these manufacturers cannot sell the food, so they donate it to Feeding America. We just have to cover the transportation costs," he explained.

To learn how you can give non-perishable food items or dollars to Feeding South Dakota, visit www.feedingsouthdakota.org. 

NewsDecember 03 2014

Senior meal program to end in Lyman County due to declining numbers

Posted by Lucy

Lyman County residents participating in the Dakota Senior Meal program were notified last week by the Rural Office of Community Services (ROCS) that due to the declining number of participants and the rising cost of preparing and transporting meals, the program would end December 31, 2014.

"The Kennebec and Presho sites have been a concern of the ROCS Board of Directors for awhile," said Janet Janousek, Director of Dakota Senior Meals.

Betty Jean Mertens, who was instrumental in getting the program started in Lyman County in the fall of 2007 was saddened and disappointed to hear of the end of the program.

"The program is a real benefit to those using it," said Mertens. "It’s just too bad we don’t have more people in the program."

Janousek said the board voted last Monday to discontinue services at Presho, Kennebec and Colome.

"Colome has had the same problems with participation," said Janousek.

A hot shot truck operated by ROCS Transit program, delivers meals prepared and packaged at the Chamberlain Senior Center kitchen to several individuals in the Reliance and Kennebec area and the Presho fire hall, where a group of people gather to eat together Monday thru Friday.

Presho residents waiting for the meal to arrive Monday expressed their concern about losing the meals.

"I enjoy meeting here and eating together," said Marian Rasmussen.

The group named off six people who had been involved with the meals program when it started but have since passed away or moved out of the area.

ROCS pays $55 per day for the truck to deliver meals, that cost includes a salary to the driver, gas, repairs and maintenance.

"It costs $6 to just transport a meal," said Janousek. Currently, the entire price of a meal, including food, preparation, and delivery to

homes and the satellite site is $10.

Participants are asked for a donation of $4 per meal, and the state reimburses ROCS $3.61 per meal.

"We’re losing $2.39 per meal," Janousek explained.

According to Janousek senior meal programs are in trouble nationwide.

She stated that the program used to be funded at a ratio of 36/65; 35 percent local contribution to 65 per federal and state funding.

"It’s really flip-flopped. Now it’s more like 70 percent local to 30 percent federal and state," said Janousek.

The average number of participants ordering meals through the Lyman County Senior Meal program is about eight per day. Janousek estimated the average number of participates would need to double in order to continue the program.

"And, then they’d still need to hold fund raisers often to remain viable," concluded Janousek.

She stated the average age of participants in the Dakota Senior Meal program is 80 – 90 years old.

Mertens stated she is looking into some other options for meals.

"The transportation cost is just too much," said Mertens.

The Rural Office of Community Services, Inc. (ROCS) is a private, non-profit Community Action Agency located in Lake Andes, South Dakota.  ROCS was incorporated in 1981. CSBG funded programs service 20 counties including Aurora, Bon Homme, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Clay, Davison, Douglas, Gregory, Hanson, Hutchison, Jerauld, Jones, Lyman, Mellette, Sanborn, Todd, Tripp, Union and Yankton.

NewsNovember 26 2014

Posted by Lucy


Moving Day

Last Tuesday, November 18, members of the Eastern Star, l-r; Gloria Perry, Donna Cole, and Sally Garnos, started moving items from their old meeting place into the newly constructed building on Main Street, Presho.  The building, which will be home to the Eastern Star and Masons, was built with funds donated by the late Dakota Mullen Sturgis.  The building features a community room available for rent to the public.  Several businesses will set up a vendor booth in the building Thursday, December 4 for Presho’s Homespun Christmas celebration.  The Eastern Star will hold an open house and announce the name of the building at a later date.

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