Feeding South Dakota plans to expand food distribution efforts across Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Feeding South Dakota has been serving about two times the amount of food they normally do. So the non-profit is expanding its efforts to reach more people and closer to home.
When the pandemic started, Feeding South Dakota closed its food pantry and focused on doing mass distributions in the community. The concept worked out so well that staff closed the food pantry permanently. Instead, they began offering smaller weekly mobile food distributions.
“COVID taught us to think outside the box and do the things we’ve always been wanting to do and that’s really to take food to where people live and work instead of always having them come to us and find us,” said Jennifer Stensaas, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Feeding South Dakota.
The Sioux Falls Neighborhood Distribution Program started in October with five sites and has since grown to seven. The goal is to increase that number to 15 sites by March.
“We’re looking at targeted areas where the highest poverty rates are, where those food desserts are, where there’s little to no access to grocery stores or other food resources in our community,” said Stensaas.
The non-profit is currently looking for locations willing to partner with them.
“‘For one space that can allow us to be there temporarily and then also volunteers to help us with these distributions,” said Stensaas.
Hillcrest Church is one of the organizations already taking part. In October, they started offering mobile food distribution on the third Tuesday of each month
“A lot of churches like ours have volunteers who are used to partnering with them and doing those distributions so it’s pretty seamless that way and I think it’s great for the guests to know they have lots of different options, lots of different days, and times and locations they can hit when they need something,” said Brian Stroh, Executive Pastor of Hillcrest Church.
Currently, the mobile distributions are in a drive-through format. Each family receives around 70 pounds of food. On average the non-profit is helping around 250 families per distribution.
Guests are eligible to visit a distribution site once a month.
- Sioux Falls, First United Methodist Church, 401 S Spring Ave (use W. 12th St. to access the church parking lot); 5:30-7:30 pm; 1st Wednesday of each month; Jan 6, Feb 3, Mar 3
- Sioux Falls, Peace Lutheran Church, 5509 W 41st St. (Enter off of 41st St., lining up in the west parking lot, exit to 43rd St.); 5:30 - 7:30 pm; 2nd Monday of each month; Feb 8, Mar 8, Apr 12
- Sioux Falls, King of Glory Church, 1001 E. 17th St. (use E. 17th St. and enter along the west side of church); 5:30-7:30 pm; 2nd Tuesday of each month; Jan 12, Feb 9, Mar 9
- Sioux Falls, Laura B Anderson Elementary School, 1600 N. Wayland Pl. (line up on the south side of the parking lot on Bennet St.); 5:30-7:30 pm; 2nd Tuesday of each month; Jan 12, Feb 9, Mar 9
- Sioux Falls, Sanford Business Center, 2200 E Benson (use N Lewis Ave to enter the southwest parking lot, exiting to E Benson Rd); 5:30-7:30 pm; 3rd Tuesday of each month; Jan 19, Feb 16, Mar 16
- Sioux Falls, Hillcrest Church, 4301 E. 26th St. (use Judy Ave. to enter the church parking lot); 5:30-7:30 pm; 3rd Wednesday of each month; Jan 20, Feb 17, Mar 17
- Sioux Falls, Good News Church, 1800 S. Valley View Rd. (use Valley View Rd. to enter the church parking lot): 5:30-7:30 pm; 4th Tuesday of each month; Jan 26, Feb 23, Mar 23
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