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November 2022 Volunteers of the Month - Yankton Community Holiday Feast




For 26 years, on the evening before Thanksgiving, the Yankton Community Holiday Feast, or as some may call it “The Feast”, has served a delicious, at no cost, traditional meal to community members. Over the years, hundreds of turkeys have been prepared, stuffed, cooked, and carved there. All are welcomed to attend regardless of need and leave full. Full not only in the sense of a full stomach, but full of fellowship and the sense of togetherness as a community.


For this annual tradition to thrive, it takes the tireless coordination of dedicated volunteers. Some members of this all-volunteer run planning committee have been with the Feast since its inception and strive each year to make the event larger, more successful, and more delicious.


United Way of Greater Yankton was proud to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of the Feast’s volunteer committee with the November 2022 - Volunteer of the Month Award.


We asked Marlene Johnson, Chairperson, and longtime volunteer, to share more about the organization’s efforts to host this annual event.


We provide a free meal to all on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving. We encourage people to come to Calvery Baptist Church for fellowship, but we also deliver meals to people who are unable to attend.


The Feast started by serving approximately 900 people the first year. We estimate that we serve 2000-2500 people per year now. Last year was way down with the pandemic. We did not have the Feast in 2020 so that may account for the lower numbers last year.


The Feast would not be possible without the support of the community. The Sisters make 32 turkeys with dressing, the Firefighters make turkeys, people donate turkeys, money, pies, volunteer time, etc. to make this happen. We are so blessed!


Everyone is so needed and appreciated, from planning, serving, delivering, cooking, cleanup, etc.


Thanks to the Yankton community, we could not do it without you!


Thank you to the volunteers of Yankton Community Holiday Feast for your extraordinary efforts.


To learn more about local volunteer opportunities or to nominate someone for United Way’s Volunteer of the Month Award, please visit www.yanktonunitedway.org/volunteer, email info@yanktonunitedway.org, or call United Way of Greater Yankton at (605) 665-6766.

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