Sales of roses will help Vermillion Food Pantry

Sales of roses will help Vermillion Food Pantry As the holiday season draws near, Willson Florist and North American Wholesalers of Sioux Falls are going to help out the Vermillion community with Caring Rose Week Nov. 13-17.

Caring Rose Week is a program that offers floral customers a dozen roses for $10 when they donate two cans of food. All the customer has to do is bring two cans of food and $10 to Willson Florist and place the order and then pick up the roses during the week of Nov. 13-17.

Willson Florist has ordered 120 dozen roses in hopes of collecting 240 cans of food for the Vermillion Food Pantry. Overall in the five-state area of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, over 200 florists have ordered 20,000 dozen roses for Caring Rose Week.

"Roses, which came from Quito, Ecuador, were a good deal and helped others put food on the table," said Harry Whelden, general manager of North American Wholesale. "Everyone wins in this situation. There are winners all the way through."

The roses were delivered at a reasonable rate because of the 90 to 100 day crop in Ecuador.

"This promotion allowed the farmers to use their product," said Whelden. "The sale of roses is usually down this time of the year until Valentine's Day. This allowed the farmers a chance to sell their product and not discard it."

Since the first Caring Rose Week in November of 1999 was such a big success, Willson Florist and North American Wholesale joined forces for the event this year. In 1999 the five-state area generated over 27,000 cans of donated food and 200 florists took part in the special promotion. During the 1999 promotion 13,500 dozen roses were distributed to the retail florists.

The Vermillion Food Pantry is always looking for donations to help out the Vermillion Community, and Willson Florist wants to help. The food pantry is located in Trinity Lutheran Church on East Clark Street. According to Keith Joy, president of Vermillion Food Pantry, these are the items that are currently needed: chili beans, jam, jelly, soda crackers, graham crackers, macaroni and cheese, beef stew, tomato soup, a variety of cream soups and toilet paper.

Those in need of food from the pantry may obtain a referral form from any pastor or clergy member in the community or from the Department of Social Service on Court Street.

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