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March 13, 2018 07:03 AM

Fighting Hunger In Small Communities

Flandreau, SD

In an effort to reach the most under-served counties in the state, Feeding South Dakota will travel Tuesday across the state to close the hunger gap. The nonprofit partners with Feeding America to determine the food insecurity rate for all 66 counties across the state. 

For the communities most in need, Feeding South Dakota will pop-up in town for a mobile food distribution with hopes of closing the hunger gap by at least 50 percent. 

Trucks full of food are in route to Flandreau on Tuesday.

Although the city has a small population, just around 2,100 people, food insecurity is a big problem. 

"For them to come to a smaller community, just not only the big communities that struggle with them issues, the small communities do too," Maynard's Grocery store manager Mike Witte said. 

Witte is partnering with Feeding South Dakota to fight hunger in Moody County. 

The only grocery store in town supports the only food pantry, so Feeding South Dakota's help is coming at a good time. 

"It goes to a good cause," Witte said. "We're centrally located, we're a grocery store, we do a lot of help with the bread basket in town for those who need a little bit extra food on their shelves."

135,000 meals are needed to close the hunger gap in the county. 

"While that seems a pretty daunting task, our goal is that we're getting at least fifty percent of those numbers being met," Feeding South Dakota development associate Jennifer Stensaas said. 

Stensaas says popping up food distributions in rural counties provides nutritious meals for those with limited access. 

"They may not have the resources to have a second grocery store or a convenience store, so we're just looking to be that provider to fill that gap," said Stensaas. 

"I think it's something we can work forward into the future and make it even bigger and brighter," Witte said. 

Maynard's Grocery, 108 N. Crescent St., will host the food distribution from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Tuesday. Pop-ups are also happening today in Deuel, Brookings, & Bon Homme Counties. Here are the times and locations: 

Clear Lake, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., parking lot of America's Best Value Inn.
Elkton, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., 109 S. Elk Street.
Avon, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Avon Fire Hall, 106 E. First Avenue.

For more information, visit Feeding South Dakota's page on Facebook.
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