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Feeding South Dakota reports need more than doubling in one year

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 7:02 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Each week feeding South Dakota is helping 10,000 households that are food insecure right in our area.

A bag of groceries is growing more precious for South Dakota families impacted by the pandemic. Matt Gassen from Feeding South Dakota says they're reaching out across the region.

"We're providing food and doing distributions in about 100 other community communities in 56 different counties in South Dakota," said Gassen.

Because of the pandemic, distribution has transitioned from pantries to curbside delivery.

"We just put food into their cars or their trunks or whatever, they don't get out of the car so we minimize that social interaction between our guests and our volunteers and staff so that we could try to keep everybody safe," said Gassen.

Feeding South Dakota has partnered with CoronahelpSF and created a central distribution at the former Fareway on 41st street.

"Since mid-March, when we really went into full fledge COVID response. We have seen about a two to two and a half times increase in the number of individuals when we're serving compared to the same time last year," said Gassen.

With unemployment benefits on the cusp of change, the need is expected to grow. If you’re new to this need, you don’t have qualify, just make a call.

"Simply contact 211, the Helpline Center, you can pre-register on that. Then on the day of the distribution, you can just show up there and I encourage people, don't be too proud," said Gassen.

He watches volunteers treat recipients with respect.

"I think everybody understands how much families have been impacted by this virus and the economic impact it's had on so many lives," said Gassen.

Feeding South Dakota works with other programs as well, including the farm to families program, USDA commodities, and the Faith Temple food giveaway.

Copyright 2020 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.

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