Harrisburg South Middle Schoolers give back to the community - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Harrisburg South Middle Schoolers give back to the community

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Harrisburg South Middle Schoolers learned today that it's never too early to give  back to their community.

More than 250 students and teachers were at 19 sites around the Harrisburg-Sioux Falls area.

One in six people are food insecure in Sioux Falls. The Sioux Falls Food Pantry is just one way of assisting families in need.

Students got a glimpse of just how much work goes into keeping the pantry running smoothly.

The school's mission: 700 hours of volunteer work on Community Service Day. 

"I think it's really nice that we're giving back to the community and helping out with the food services because we're going to help all the families that don't have enough money with all the canned foods that we're putting into the boxes," said Carol Morey, 7th grader.

And for many students, the experience was eye-opening.

"It amazes me how many people it helps and it's good to know how you can just them other people," said Kayla Smeenk, 7th grader.

It's a chance to socialize with friends, while helping others in need. For most, this was the first time they'd been inside the food pantry.

"I thought it was pretty cool. I've volunteered before but not at this type of place. So I thought that was cool to see all what they do and how they prepare their stuff to their customers," said Emma Malcom, 7th grader.

"I think it's absolutely amazing that we can get teenagers to come down to the food pantry especially, as young as 7th graders, who in some ways have not been exposed to volunteering before or a lot of opportunities to volunteer," said John Geyer, food pantry manager.

The students may have been outside the classroom, but they were learning a very important lesson.

"Hopefully this isn't just a one day thing -- it's something they can continue throughout their lives," said Kirsten Wienan, 7th grade English teacher.

And some are already planning another day of giving back.

"I think this would be fun to get a group of friends together, just helping out," said Malcom.
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