Feeding South Dakota begins a busy time of year
Feeding South Dakota’s Food Bank Program is the largest program that partners with non-profit agencies across the state to feed hungry individuals and families.
In Rapid City, Feeding South Dakota provides food assistance to an average of 6,000 individuals each month. These are impossible numbers of people to serve without additional support from the community. And heading into the colder season, folks are stocking up on supplies.
Shawn Burke, with Feeding South Dakota in Rapid City, says “As far as winter season, and fall season, the weather gets colder, you know, people want to have some things in their pantries for making it through, especially with snowstorms and whatever else.”
Due to various events this year including the government shutdown, tornadoes, statewide flooding and an increase in numbers of those served – the food pantry inventory is nearly depleted.
Feeding South Dakota distributes food to those in need through five program areas: Food Bank, Food Pantry, the BackPack Program, Mobile Food Pantry Program and Commodity Distribution with such a need they are running low on supplies and urge the community to donate what they can or even host a food drive with a group or business.
Burke says, “I mean that’s really where it comes into having the need for that additional nonperishable food, because we don’t just push it out into the pantry, we get it to agencies, we get it to individuals, we get it to programs.”
The typical “food drive” season begins now with a spike at Thanksgiving, and Feeding South Dakota distributes over 1,000 turkey dinner meal prep kits for the holiday.
They say hunger is a barrier to breaking through the poverty epidemic.
“You’re dealing with hunger, we can get you some food, and then we try really heard to work with the other organizations and say ok, what are the next things that people can access to get them what they need to get moving, you know and that’s- the ways out of poverty are multiple but there are so many barriers, we just try to remove what we can.”
Feeding South Dakota is always in need of volunteers for the sort room, repackaging and getting the mobile truck ready for deliveries.