Feeding South Dakota, a Feeding America member food bank, is changing several of its distribution models as the organization prepares to see an unprecedented increased need for food assistance due to the challenges COVID-19 has presented for so many individuals in need in South Dakota. Feeding South Dakota is confident that with the help of our communities and state, we will continue to fight hunger in South Dakota. We ask for the community’s patience and trust in this work as we enter unchartered waters. Rest assured that we will use all resources available to us to ensure those most in need will continue to have access to food.
FOOD PANTRY PROGRAM
After much careful consideration, Feeding South Dakota’s Food Pantries in Rapid City and Sioux Falls are now closed until it is safe to reopen. “This decision was most certainly not an easy decision to make but it has been determined to be in the best interest of everyone to ensure we are keeping our staff, volunteers and guests as safe as possible,” said Matt Gassen, CEO, Feeding South Dakota. “Closing the food pantries will allow us to more efficiently and effectively use our staff resources to continue to pack emergency boxes and bags of food to distribute to not only our residents in Rapid City and Sioux Falls, but to focus on the needs of all 66 counties of our state.”
Closing these food pantries does not mean individuals and families will lose access to food. Feeding South Dakota will be distributing emergency food boxes, drive-thru style, in the parking lots at pre-determined locations. Visit our Mobile Food Pantry page for the most current list of locations with dates and times. People are asked to remain in their vehicles; staff and volunteers will be loading the food, one box per household, maximum two boxes per vehicle. If there are more than two families in a vehicle, we ask you return to the end of the lines after serving the first two families. Follow @FeedingSD on Facebook for alerts on current distribution schedules.
BackPack Program will discontinue the distribution of backpacks until further notice. No backpacks will be delivered to schools nor will they be available for pick-up by neighboring school districts.
MOBILE FOOD PANTRY PROGRAM
Mobile Food Pantry Program will continue its regularly scheduled food statewide distributions with the exception that the food will be in pre-packed boxes and bags and will be distributed drive-thru style. Distributing food in this fashion will allow for maximum safety for staff, volunteers and guests. A listing of distributions by county can be found here.
FOOD BANK PROGRAM
The Food Bank Program will continue to work closely with its 250+ agency partners, ensuring that communities we have current partnerships with continue to have access to food resources to feed their community members in need.
Seniors in eastern and central South Dakota who are currently receiving food assistance through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP or more commonly known as the “Senior Box Program”) will continue to receive their monthly box as typical.
We need volunteers!
Feeding South Dakota is increasing precautionary measures to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers, and our neighbors in need. Our distributions centers are certified with AIB International, a pioneer and leader in food safety auditing and education. We are asking everyone to NOT enter our facilities if they’re not feeling well, especially if a fever or cough is present. We have distributed and posted education materials from the CDC, providing facts about COVID-19 along with simple tips to stay healthy.
Our need for volunteers is more critical now than ever before. With limited human capital, our work relies on the availability of volunteers. We are doing our best to ensure we implement safe social distance measures. Healthy community members in the Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls areas are encouraged to REGISTER!
We need your financial commitment!
Feeding South Dakota is actively monitoring and addressing the effect COVID-19 has on food-insecure individuals and families in South Dakota. With schools closed now until the beginning of May, children and parents are now on the brink of devastating hunger. Families will turn to us for help – families who need your kindness, generosity and care now more than ever.
With your support, we can continue to provide food and resources to our neighbors in need. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know this is an unbudgeted and unprecedented event, and your support is crucial to helping families in need.
Please give now to help children and parents facing hunger. Your gift will make the difference during this crisis.
Get the latest on Facebook!
As we continue to navigate these ever-changing times, we urge our communities to continue to follow @FeedingSD on Facebook for status updates in the following days and weeks ahead.