Access to food resources can be difficult for vulnerable communities

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 12:34 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The last few days we’ve looked at the lack of resources behind food insecurity and how it affects the people living through it. But how do people get access to resources provided by the community?

“I have no Hallmark stories, people want to hear misery and I’m not going to give it to them. Being successful is coming out of struggles, that’s what I do, I’m successful in my struggles and hopefully this will be fruitful,” said Gary Hampton, staying at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission.

Gary prides himself on his many skills, from ranked tennis player to a valet driver, traveling around the nation for his survival, and now, he’s searching for stability.

He landed in South Dakota last May and found shelter at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission.

“These folks here have been gracious enough to give me a lunch for several weeks until I get paid,” said Hampton.

Food banks and food pantries… two things people worrying about their next meal can benefit from, if only they had access.

“We are in a food desert up here in North Rapid, we do have one large grocery store, but if you live even half a mile from that store with no means of transportation, it’s hard for you to get food,” said MaryBeth McLellan, manager of clinical operations, Monument Health Family Medicine Residency Clinic.

Thanks to Feeding South Dakota, a mobile food pantry can now come to people who may not otherwise get to a food bank. And they’re not the only organization.

Monument Health family medicine residency clinic’s food pantry is strategically placed in the North Rapid community to help their patients without transportation.

They also provide kitchen equipment for patients staying in hotels.

“But not having your home, your own home where you can cook something, it’s unimportant then. I’ve cooked meals on shopping carts under a bridge,” said Hampton.

Gary has been in and out of shelters for years and says his mindset is what helps him along his journey.

“Staying positive and keeping your mind together, and stay focused on your goal, your goal is to get out of here, get employment and get out, or get whatever you need but I would be sure not to put yourself in any jeopardy anymore than you need to. Just stay focused and try to have a positive attitude. It works for me or I wouldn’t be standing here in front of this camera,” said Hampton.

You can find all available resources in the Black Hills area here.

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