Sioux Falls announces new mobile market to address food deserts

Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 4:28 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -In last week’s State of the City, Mayor Paul TenHaken hinted at a specific collaborative effort that aims to help with food insecurity in Sioux Falls.

This initiative was unveiled in today’s One Sioux Falls Media Briefing.

The City of Sioux Falls will be launching a new mobile market offering healthy foods at an affordable cost.

This would include multiple buses with markets stationed throughout neighborhoods in Sioux Falls.

The city will be giving two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to Sioux Falls Thrive to pilot the “Eat Well Sioux Falls mobile market.”

Dr. Charles Chima, public health director with City of Sioux Falls discussed the need for this in the community.

“The problem of food deserts or food access priority areas which are the areas in our community that are designated as being low income and low food access,” said Dr. Charles Chima, public health director with City of Sioux Falls.

Putting an emphasis on health through the mobile market.

“Shoppers will find items like fresh produce, meat, and dairy products and other staples you would find in a normal grocery store,” said Michelle Erpenbach, President of Sioux Falls Thrive.

Partnering with Fair Market to help those in the community amidst inflation.

“Offering options for people to find more affordable groceries to make their dollar stretch further. We shoot for about fifty percent of typical retail so that when people come in, they know they can get double bang for their buck,” said Kristin Johnson, Fair Market executive director.

Pastor Jeff Hayes, director of the Faith Temple food giveaway says the mobile market could help ease the high demand for food in the community that he has seen first-hand at his giveaways every Friday.

“Normally we give away over eleven hundred boxes of food, also we noticed last week that people are coming earlier and twenty minutes into the food giveaway we had seven hundred people here,” said Jeff Hayes, Faith Temple food giveaway director.

He says it may also help to serve those who don’t have access to transportation.

“For some of them it’s a great effort and some of them will walk or bike miles to get to the food giveaway here. And so, I’m glad to hear that the mobile food market is going to the people in there neighborhoods. I trust that there will be a big demand and they will have to spread themselves widely throughout the city so they’re able to reach several neighborhoods,” said Jeff Hayes, Faith Temple food giveaway director.

The city will be looking for partners to help build awareness on the mobile market in the coming months and hope to launch the first mobile market by September.