Simplified: The US rate of inflation is sitting at 8.6%, affecting cost of living from groceries to gas bills. Those increased prices are pushing some Sioux Falls families to turn to local resources for help, but those nonprofits and support organizations are also grappling with the increased expenses.
Why it matters
- As costs increase, more people are turning to local organizations for help. The Helpline Center saw 600 more calls for food assistance and 300 more calls for housing assistance in May compared to the year prior.
- Increasing costs are also hitting organizations who are seeing needs outpace donations. Places like The Banquet, Feeding South Dakota, the Bishop Dudley House and the Union Gospel Mission are finding they need to buy more products on their own to meet the needs of people coming to them.
- Feeding South Dakota, for example, has seen a 20% increase across the state in the need for food distribution services, said Stacey Andernacht, marketing and communications director.
"I was out at a mobile food distribution a couple weeks ago and helping check people in," Andernacht said. "And there were a few people that said they never had done this before and they never thought they would have to do this."
What is inflation doing to the nonprofits' budgets?
Because everything from food to fuel is more expensive, regular operating costs are also increased on top of food or supply costs.
Madeline Shields, executive director for the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, said their operating costs are increasing on top of other expenses.
“We are seeing the effects of just higher prices for everything," Shields said. "Our electricity has gone up. Our natural gas has gone up.”
- The cost of serving lunch for Bishop Dudley Hospitality House has increased from around $160 - $200 to $250.
- Shields said supply chain issues are also making it harder for them to get repairs done in a timely manner.
Feeding South Dakota also had to increase their budget for groceries to accommodate the inflation and the increased need for food assistance.
“It has impacted our financial budget because we find ourselves purchasing more food than we may have done in the past and at that inflated cost that is exceeding our anticipated budget amount for getting food," Andernacht said. "So we're able to have food to get out, but we are seeing the impact in our budget line.”
What can I do to help?
Donating supplies or your time to local nonprofits can help lighten the load.
- Shields said if you don't have time to help serve lunch, you can sponsor lunch by paying that $250 cost for one day. You can find more info on the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House here.
- Feeding South Dakota also needs funding, volunteers and donations for their programs. Their info is here.
- Check out other websites of local nonprofits to see how you can help, like Union Gospel Mission, The Banquet and the Children's Inn.
“They may just need our services for a few months, or they may need it longer," Andernacht said. "The reality is we don't need to know why they need our services. We're just happy to be able to provide them with the food that they need to be able to bring things home and stock their cupboard and feed their family.”