Food Pantry serves more than ever before - KOTA Territory News

Food Pantry serves more than ever before

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submitted by Lauren Forsch, Feeding South Dakota

The winter holds some of the busiest months for many non-profit organizations. Feeding South Dakota is no different.

During this season, families who are already facing financial constraints have to choose between heating their house and feeding their family. The recent low temperatures force families to skip a meal in order to stay warm. And when food runs out, many turn to organizations to look for a meal.

Those who work at Feeding South Dakota's Rapid City Food Pantry saw that increased need first hand. In 2013, the Food Pantry distributed 5 percent more emergency food supplies to families who came to the pantry for food assistance. In addition, the hunger relief organization provided 34 percent more food through the Food Pantry.

"Many families in our area are finding themselves underemployed, often referred to as the working poor, and not able to provide enough financially for their families," said Matt Gassen, Executive Director of Feeding South Dakota. "We're seeing an increase in the amount of clients who are working full or part time, but still need assistance to make ends meet."

Additionally, a common misconception is that many of those visiting the pantry are repeat visitors. In 2013, 43 percent of clients only visited the pantry one time for food assistance and 22 percent visited twice. The need in Rapid City is significant and at the pantry, families are only allowed to visit every 60 days due to the lack of food resources. Each week, the Food Pantry distributes the equivalent of a semi load – more than 20,000 pounds – of food to families who are hungry. As the need for these services increase, so does the need for funding. Feeding South Dakota can provide 5 meals for every dollar donated.

In all, Feeding South Dakota distributed 10.4 million meals to hungry South Dakotans statewide last year through one of their programs, such as the BackPack Program, Mobile Food Pantry, Food Pantry, and Food Bank.

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518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

Telephone: 605.342.2000
Fax: 605.342.7305

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