Rapid City and Sioux Falls Food Pantries closed until further notice
SOUTH DAKOTA [March 20, 2020] – 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 South Dakota.
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 of the following locations during the week beginning March 23, 2020. 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. Once the first family has been distributed, the distribution dates, times and locations will be evaluated after the first week to determine distributions plans for the following week. Follow @FeedingSD on Facebook for alerts on current distribution schedules.
Rapid Valley United Methodist Church 5103 Longview Dr., Rapid Valley Wednesday, 3/25 2-4pm
Star Village (behind office) Wednesday, 3/25 10-12pm
Mother Butler 231 Knollwood Dr Friday, 3/27 2-4pm
Career Learning Center 730 E Watertown St Friday, 3/27 10-12pm
Sioux Falls - Monday (3/23) & Thursday (3/26); 6-7pm or until all food has been distributed
Kenny Anderson Community Center 3701 E 3rd St
MariCar Community Center 400 N Valley View Rd
Oyate Community Center 2421 W 15th St
Kuehn Community Center 2801 South Valley View Road
First United Methodist Church 401 S Spring Avenue
Feeding South Dakota’s 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.
Feeding South Dakota’s 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 online at feedingsouthdakota.org/mobile. Please bookmark this link and visit it often as more distributions may be added as time goes on and the need for food changes.
Feeding South Dakota’s 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.
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 to volunteer at feedingsouthdakota.org/volunteer.
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.
None of this work would be possible if it were not for our trusted partnerships with school district officials across South Dakota, The Helpline Center, Corona Help SF, the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, Rapid City Collective Impact, Sioux Falls Thrive, Love, Inc. community leaders, hundreds of volunteers and many donors. A special thank you to our network of hundreds of agency partners working tirelessly in their communities to distribute food where it’s needed most. Working together, we will end hunger in South Dakota. To support our work to end hunger please visit feedingsouthdakota.org/donate.
As we continue to navigate these ever-changing times, we urge our communities to continue to follow @FeedingSD on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter along with our website feedingsouth dakota.org/covid-19 for status updates in the following days and weeks ahead.
About Feeding South Dakota
Feeding South Dakota, whose mission is to end hunger in South Dakota, is the state’s largest charitable hunger relief organization. In FY19, Feeding South Dakota secured and distributed nearly 15.4 million pounds of quality nutritious donated and purchased food providing 12.8 million meals to nearly 100,000 individuals who are food insecure in South Dakota. Feeding South Dakota distributes this food from distribution centers in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City and through its network of agency partners across the state. For more information on Feeding South Dakota, visit feedingsouthdakota.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.