RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV)- A lot of people have got into a mindset of buying food and supplies in bulk. But this behavior is not a simple issue of what you want to store at home. "That hoarding that's going on in the country is impacting us in the work we do...." CEO of Feeding South Dakota Matt Gassen is seeing a ripple effect that a lot of people might not know about. "Sources of donated food we get, come from the retail stores and the box stores settings, when they have product that goes unsold, they donate that product to food banks like us, we then are able to use and distribute to individuals and families, to our food pantries." But now, many food items are out of stock and stores have to keep ordering more, which is putting a strain on the manufacturers. And that's no longer just an issue in one or two neighborhoods. Gassen elaborates, in the long run, "could have an impact on the national donations that we get from large manufactures, who support our national affiliate Feeding America and 200 food banks like us."
Additionally, there are people who are not able to afford spending hundreds of dollars buying months worth of food. "And when it's not there and they can't get it, then that's going to put more people at our door step asking for assistance from us," Gassen adds.
Seeing how some shoppers sweep the store shelves clean, some national retailers have dedicated special hours for senior citizens to shop. "Yesterday at Target, the flu and the cold and flu aisles are completely bare," April Malik, the director of Minneluzahan Senior Center has observed. "It's very worrisome when they [the seniors] can't find those products when they are already struggling with breathing and respiratory issues." Malik says she thinks it is a nice gesture to have special senior hours, but it would be even nicer "if stores could identify certain items to hold back [for the elderly] , it doesn't do a lot of good if the seniors have senior hours but everything they need is already gone."