Sioux Falls Mobile Market partnering with Augustana & looking for input

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:15 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Since the Eat Well Sioux Falls Mobile Market was announced in April, many community members have wondered how it will look once it hits the road.

As the launch date for the Sioux Falls Mobile Market creeps closer, those with the project are looking for ideas as to what kind of groceries will fill the shelves.

Michelle Erpenbach, president of Sioux Falls Thrive, discussed why a mobile market is ideal for the City of Sioux Falls.

“There are areas of Sioux Falls where people are living in what is called a ‘food desert.’ It is difficult for them to get to a grocery store — many of those folks don’t have access to their own transportation.”

With limited space due to its mobility, Erpenbach says they will be relying on input from the community.

“The survey is super important. What is it that folks would buy in a store like this? If they were going to have a grocery store within a few blocks of their house once a week — what would they need to purchase there? Is it produce, is it dairy products, is it cereals, dry goods? Those sorts of things.”

Community involvement is the key to making these items affordable.

“A lot of this is going to be partnerships. We are going to build these partnerships with churches, organizations that might have community gardens that they might be able to provide us the surplus.”

One of the organizations that has stepped up to partner with the mobile market is Augustana University.

Augustana University garden faculty advisor Matthew Willard says they felt motivated to get involved.

“It gets fresh produce into the hands of the food insecure who are generally their customer base. These markets are in areas of the city in what they call food deserts, and so they have never really had fresh produce for those customers before, and now they do,” said Willard.

The partnership helps to give students an educational opportunity and perspective.

“Having those kinds of outlets, serving a good cause, educating students, and really bringing fresh produce to people who might not otherwise have it is a pretty exciting project.”

The survey is active now for those who want to leave feedback.

Erpenbach said the mobile market is expected to hit the road by Oct. 9 or 10.

To take the survey, you can follow the link at