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BAFP Fundraiser Dinner helps to put food on the table of others
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

November 21. 2013 10:06AM
A mother of three, recently diagnosed with breast cancer, struggles to make ends meet.

“She’s an awesome woman but is unable to work because she’s ill,” tells Linda Weber, executive director of the Brandon Area Food Pantry. “They’re the most polite family and certainly don’t feel entitled, and she wishes she didn’t have to come here but she didn’t know where else to go.”

Another man, who lost his job after 10 years on the payroll, doesn’t take in enough in his unemployment check each month to support his wife and three children.

“He really didn’t want to come to the food pantry,” Weber says.

A third man, a husband and father of four, “just can’t make it,” Weber explains.

The man tells her, “I’m the head of the family. I’m the dad, and I’m supposed to take care of my family.”

“That one I’ll always remember,” she said.

The stories are real. And so are their needs – locally, which is reason for the fourth annual BAFP Fundraiser Dinner. The event is planned for this Friday, Nov. 22, in the community room at the Brandon Municipal Golf Course. Social hour starts at 6 p.m. and dinner is at 7. Sioux Falls attorney Dean Nasser will once again provide the social hour entertainment.

Since the BAFP opened its doors five years ago on Nov. 21, 2008, nearly 2,000 people have utilized the Pantry. This year alone, Weber said more than 400 food insecure people have been served, and the need continues to grow.

“Starting this month, people are getting less in their food stamps,” she said. “I had a family that made $7 too much and couldn’t get them. So they came to us because they just can’t make it.”

Proceeds raised at Friday’s dinner will go toward food purchases and general operating expenses of the BAFP.

Weber said some of the money raised will be used to purchase a minimum of 24 turkeys at her 18-cent per-pound “buying power.” To put that in perspective, Weber can buy 26 boxes of cereal for the $5 most pay for two boxes at the grocery store.

“Twenty-four turkeys doesn’t sound like much, but they’ll all go,” she assured.

Hams for Christmas dinners and other meats are also typically purchased with monetary donations.

“We purchase meats – basically proteins – because what we have is lacking in proteins that everyone needs. Everyone needs meat,” she said.

Tickets for Friday’s dinner are $30 each or $240 for a table of eight. If interested, contact Weber at 582-7001.

Last year, about 130 people attended the event. As of last week, Weber said they’re on track to surpass that number this year.

“We’d like anybody and everybody to come,” she said.

The BAFP provides a five-day supply of food. Participants must be referred by a service agency such as a church, school counselor or Volunteers of America, and are allowed four visits per year to the BAFP. To learn more, call the BAFP at 582-7001.
What: Fourth annual Brandon Area Food Pantry Fundraiser

When: Friday, Nov. 22 – 6 p.m. social hour, 7 p.m. dinner

Where: Brandon Municipal Golf Course Community Room

Cost: $30 per person or $240 for table of eight

Tickets: Call the BAFP at 582-7001

The fourth annual Brandon Area Food Pantry Fundraising Dinner is this Friday night at the Brandon Municipal Golf Course. Challenger file photo

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