Hunger and health are deeply connected. Research done by Feeding America shows that people who are food insecure are disproportionately affected by diet-sensitive diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. In fact, more than half (58%) of households served by the Feeding America network, which includes Feeding South Dakota, have at least one member living with high blood pressure, and more than one-third (33%) has a member with diabetics. Not only are food insecure people at a higher risk of getting a chronic disease, they also have a much more difficult time managing a disease once it occurs.
Living with poor health and food insecurity can make it impossible for people to get ahead. Of the people who rely on Feeding South Dakota and our partner agencies for food, 56% of households reported choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care at least once in the past 12 months. 72% of clients purchase inexpensive, less healthy foods as a way to stretch their grocery budget.
Feeding South Dakota, in partnership with other food banks in the Feeding America network, is working to solve this problem and make healthier foods more available for the guests we serve.
Foods to Encourage
Feeding South Dakota is helping people in need access healthy foods by sourcing and distributing more Foods to Encourage - foods that promote good health, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins. Our goal at Feeding South Dakota is to provide over 11.5 million pounds of these foods annually by 2019. This would mean 70% of the food we distribute through our five programs and our 350 partner agencies would be healthy produce, dairy, and proteins.
We continue to work every day to not just provide food, but to provide hope, dignity, and better opportunity for people struggling with food insecurity in our state. Will you join our fight?