Feeding South Dakota looks to expand mobile food distributions in Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls, SD [October 16, 2020] – Since the onset of COVID-19, food banks across the country have repeatedly reported serving record numbers of individuals and families in need of food assistance due to the negative impacts of this global pandemic. Many people, for the first time, found themselves not able to provide food for themselves and their families due to lack of income from ceased employment or hourly work that was cut back.
Feeding South Dakota has been serving between 2 and 2.5 times the average number of individuals that look to the organization, or to one of its partner agencies, for food assistance during the past seven months. To help meet the rising need in the safest way possible, the organization has increased the number of drive-thru mobile food distributions in nearly every county of the state. With an average of 115 mobile distributions each month, Feeding South Dakota connects with 100 communities across the state and distributes 1.7 million pounds of food each month.
To help ease the burden of the rising need and the expenses that go along with it, and to promote good health in the communities it serves, Sanford Health has announced one of the largest ever donations to a series of food banks in the Upper Midwest, including Feeding South Dakota. Sanford Health will give a $3 million gift and will be split across Feeding South Dakota, Great Plains Food Bank, North Country Food Bank, Second Harvest North Central Foodbank and Second Harvest Heartland.
“We are incredibly grateful to Sanford Health for this amazing contribution to fight hunger,” says Matt Gassen, CEO, Feeding South Dakota. “This amazing gift will specifically help support the launch of the new neighborhood mobile food pantry distribution model in Sioux Falls along with providing the necessary support to expand to more distribution sites in the near future. We are excited for the possibilities that lie ahead to allow us to feed more people in need, where they live and work in Sioux Falls.”
The donation coincides with the 75th anniversary of the United Nation’s World Food Day, which promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all. The United Nations estimates that two billion people do not have access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food on a regular basis. Research shows that food insecurity is linked to health risks including a range of chronic diseases in adults and developmental challenges in children.
“At Sanford Health, we have always said we invest in the communities that we serve, and we have had a long-standing relationship with these organizations,” said Allison Suttle, M.D., Sanford Health senior vice president and chief medical officer. “Good health starts with good nutrition, and when we heard about the sharp increases in demand for food, we knew we needed to step in and help. Not having access to nutritious food can lead to the development of chronic illnesses and often aggravates the severity of existing conditions. This is a major investment in the well-being of our communities.”
For more information on Feeding South Dakota’s Mobile Food Pantry Program and to view a listing of all distributions by county, visit www.feedingsouthdakota.org/mobile.
Media Invitation: Feeding South Dakota is hosting Sanford staff members as volunteers in Sioux Falls on Friday, October 16th from 9am – 12pm and then again from 1pm – 4pm. Media is invited to a special presentation of Sanford Health’s donation beginning at 9am. Photo, video and interview opportunities will be available.
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 FY20, Feeding South Dakota secured and distributed nearly 16.7 million pounds of quality nutritious donated and purchased food providing nearly 14 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.