Jennifer Adamson could not believe it when she saw a huge check and one ton of neatly stacked jars of peanut butter moving to a room across the food pantry.
Hormel Foods and the local Hy-Vee in Yankton donated 1,000 pounds of Skippy peanut butter to the Yankton County Contact Center in a small ceremony Tuesday morning.
When Adamson heard the news, she was overwhelmed by emotion.
“First, I was so shocked, and then I cried,” said the center’s director.
The donation comes as a part of the peanut butter manufacturer’s Spread the Smiles campaign, which is part of a hunger program created in 2018. Earlier this year, more than 11,000 pounds of peanut butter were distributed to food banks in different communities.
Yankton was one of 11 communities across eight Midwestern states and the only community in South Dakota to be chosen.
“Obviously, there’s a need in Yankton, like there are in many of our communities around Yankton,” said Yankton Hy-Vee store director Ben Conway. “There’s a definite need.”
About 300 to 500 individuals and families visit the center’s food pantry every month, but that number keeps increasing.
Adamson said the city’s proximity to the James and Missouri rivers might be factors in the growing number.
“The number has grown and grown every year that I’ve been here,” she said. “I think some of the flooding impacted us last year in March and then this last September. When the Jim River flooded so bad, I know there were several people that lost everything.”
As the center gears up for the Christmas season, Adamson said anyone who comes in the center for help is welcome.
“It’s 2019,” she said. “Nobody needs to go hungry.”