The Schleswig Fire Department and Tyson Fresh Meats in Storm Lake recently teamed up to deliver meat products to anyone in the Schleswig Fire District through the “Tyson Food Project.”

Rod Olson hadn’t heard of the Tyson Food Project before. After talking with a friend in Fonda about their project, Olson started making some phone calls to bring this project to Schleswig.

The whole process went quickly, said Olson. He made his initial calls on Friday, April 24, to get Schleswig’s name on the list, talked with Mayor Bob Andresen on Monday, April 27, and picked up and distributed the food on Friday, May 1.

Olson said he talked with other communities that had done Tyson Food Project about what kinds of product they received and how they distributed it to the residents. He and three to four other volunteers met at the fire station every other night to prepare. They figured out that about 800 people live in the Schleswig fire district.

On Friday, May 1, Bob Boettger with Blazin’ B Ranch drove his reefer trailer to Storm Lake, along with Olson and his two children, to pick up the product. Olson wanted to get his kids involved with the project to help “teach them to do the right thing.”

Olson explained that you don’t know what product you’re going to get when you pick it up in Storm Lake.

“You don’t know what to prepare for,” he said. They figure two pounds per person of product.

Schleswig received a variety of products, including breaded chicken tenders and chicken nuggets, about 80 boxes of breakfast sandwiches, 20 boxes of breakfast bowls, and some sub sandwiches.

“We were very fortunate to get different products. I hope everyone was happy with what they got.” Olson said. “It was all free to help the community.”

Olson said they didn’t have to pay anything for the product. They just had to go pick up the product in Storm Lake. Fareway gave them a whole bunch of grocery bags so volunteers could package the different products.

Volunteers started handing out the meat products on at 6 p.m. on May 1 starting in the Schleswig School parking lot. Once things got started, Olson said, “We served 120 cars in less than 20 minutes.”

Firemen guided vehicles though the pick up line. People told them how many people lived in their household to determine the amount of food needed. Social distancing measures were followed as meat was put into the trunk or back of the vehicle.

Lots of volunteers helped make this project a success, from the firemen and their spouses to community members.

“I’m really proud of everybody,” Olson said. “We were struggling just a few minutes before (it started), how are we going to do this? It was really neat to see it all come together. It was a team effort.”

For those residents who were unable to get out, meat was delivered to their house. Olson said they delivered meat to about 50 community members.

Kiron also held a Tyson Food Project on the same night, so the two towns were able to exchange some product.

Olson said there was a little bit of food left that he took to Crawford Cares in Denison.

“It was really a joint effort from everybody around the community to help everybody out,” Olson said.

Olson would like to thank the Tyson Food Project and all the volunteers who helped with the event.

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