Catherine never imagined she would have to make the hard choice between buying food or paying bills. But when she stopped working, money worries became a way of life.
Catherine is just one of the growing number of seniors who are struggling to keep food on the table. As our population continues to age, it’s more important than ever to ensure that these vulnerable men and women are not overlooked. Thank you for caring about our neighbors in need and giving generously to ensure no one in South Dakota goes hungry!
“I never thought that I was going to experience this. I wake up and try to figure out how I’m going to make it through the day.”
The work of Feeding South Dakota wouldn’t be possible without the support of friends like you and our agency partners who work the frontlines. One of our local partners in Rapid City is Holly Sortland, the pastor at Open Heart United Methodist Church. Recognizing the need in their neighborhood, Holly’s church started a monthly food pantry and meal. She says, “We’re located within a one-mile radius of three Title 1 schools, meaning that at least forty percent of those kids are at or below the poverty line.”
“As a pastor, I try to feed people’s souls. But people’s souls can’t be fed if they’re hungry. Food is one of our most basic needs. If you want to reduce poverty, start at ground zero — making sure people are fed. I encourage people who give to attend a feeding event, so they can see peoples’ eyes light up once they get that food.”
Have you met Deb, aka the Spider Lady? Simply stop by a mobile pantry in Rapid City, and you’re sure to see her smiling face. Deb earned her nickname from her Can-Am Spider she rides around town, which she covered with fake spiders. The only thing greater than her enthusiasm is her energy!
After retiring from the Air Force after 20 years, Deb first helped at one of our local food pantries. Before long, she became our go-to volunteer — doing everything from filling backpacks for kids to handing out food at mobile pantry events. She says,“Before volunteering, I didn’t realize there was this much need in South Dakota. This is the best nonpaying job I’ve had because of the handshakes and hugs … people get so elated over just a can of soup. Everyone that comes through becomes extended family to me.”