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Lyon Co. OKs food distribution event at fairgrounds

Free food event being planned for March

MARSHALL — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many area families are still facing food insecurity. With help from Lyon County, area organizations like United Way of Southwest Minnesota and United Community Action Partnership are planning an event to help.

A free food distribution event is being organized in March, at the Lyon County fairgrounds in Marshall.

County commissioners gave permission for the food distribution event to be held in the former ice arena building at the fairgrounds on March 16.

United Way of Southwest Minnesota President and CEO Sarah Kicmal said United Way and UCAP were working together with Second Harvest Heartland to plan a food distribution event. Without the Ruby’s Pantry food program being offered in Marshall, many area families are in need of some supplemental food support, Kicmal said.

“We’re looking at 700 shares (of food) being available,” Kicmal said, but volunteers would need somewhere out of the elements to load up families’ vehicles with food.

“In 2020, we did two similar events,” said Angela Larson of UCAP. A free food distribution event at SMSU last spring drew more than 500 vehicles in two hours, despite rainy weather. Families from more than 30 area communities received food.

United Way of Southwest Minnesota and UCAP were requesting the use of the 4-H building at the fairgrounds to hold another distribution event. However, that building is rented out for storage over the winter. Lyon County environmental administrator Roger Schroeder suggested using the former ice arena building instead.

Commissioners approved the use of the building for food distribution. Kicmal and Larson said more details of the event could be planned, now that a location has been settled on.

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