Simplified: Feeding South Dakota is seeing fewer large-scale donations and a significant uptick in families who need food assistance. Here’s how to help.
Why it matters
- According to a 2022 Augustana Research study, about 1 in 10 households in Sioux Falls experience food insecurity — i.e. they don't have consistent and reliable access to food.
- Feeding South Dakota is an important piece of the puzzle in helping those families bridge the gap between their need for food and what they can afford to buy. Last month, 1,600 families were served by its mobile food distribution.
- But the nonprofit has seen a 30% decrease in the number of donations from national networks, Community Engagement Manager Jennifer Stensaas said. Meanwhile, the families showing up in need of food are up 20% compared to last year.
"We’re not seeing that donated product available as we used to so we’re having to purchase more food to fill in that gap," Stensaas said.
What’s behind the changes?
Largely, inflation, Stensaas said.
- She also hypothesized that grocers and producers are holding on to products a bit longer to try to sell them, even at a discounted rate, rather than go straight to donating them.
Even with inflation, though, individual donations don’t appear to be slowing down, she said.
"We're still seeing success with food drives," Stensaas said. "Once October hits, it's usually fast and furious with food drives."
How can I help?
- Normally, a financial contribution would be at the top of the list, Stensaas added, but the need for food is significant. Learn more about how to donate here.
- That said, the nonprofit can stretch your dollars far in purchasing food. A $1 donation can provide up to three meals.
- Additionally, as producers donate less, the nonprofit is needing to purchase more food items it previously could count on being donated. That means the money available is getting used up more quickly. You can donate here.
- Volunteers are always needed to help sort and package food donations. Learn more on how to get started here.