Who uses a food pantry?
Of the individuals served by our Food Pantry Program, nearly 50% are under the age of 18. On an average week, over 340 people over the age of 65 rely on our Food Pantry program. In a year, we provide food, hope, and dignity to over 35,000 families.
The people we serve are diverse: single parents who just need help making ends meet, recent immigrants who have moved here to give their children a better, safer life, grandparents who are helping raise their grandchildren, adults who are going through a difficult time, dual parent households where bills have just piled up, senior citizens who face the choice of paying for food or paying for medication.
For many of the individuals who rely on our Food Pantry Program, the hardest part is having to ask for help. One mom, named Brianna, told us:
It's been a challenging few years, and I need to figure out how to provide for us. There are times I still worry whether we'll have enough food, and I've been falling behind on my bills. My biggest challenge right now is helping other people understand the position I'm in. It's painful when people judge your situation without really understanding.
Read Brianna's full story.
Food Bank Vs. Food Pantry
A food bank operates as a warehousing facility for millions of pounds of food that go out through other community organizations. A food pantry functions as the arms which reach out to the community directly. Feeding South Dakota also operates our own Food Bank and Mobile Food Pantry Programs.