Feeding South Dakota provides more than 10 million meals to hungry families in the Rushmore State. And whether it's through the backpack program or the mobile food pantry, the non-profit gives away more than 12 million pounds of food every year.
Among towering shelves in a cool warehouse, Clare Becker picks out food for the St. Vincent de Paul parish.
“Oh yes, I'm a frequent flier,” Becker said.
In her weekly trip to the Feeding South Dakota warehouse, she takes back food for more than 250 struggling families.
In addition to distributing food through three pantries across the state, Feeding South Dakota also provides food for organizations that otherwise couldn't help the needy.
"We would definitely be in the lurch because there is just no other source where the price is right for what our budget would allow. And also where we can get the variety of the food and the meats, especially," Becker said.
"We estimate that the food we distribute touches 100,000 lives in the state of South Dakota at some point and time during the year, some of those multiple times in a year, some maybe once or twice," Feeding South Dakota Executive Director Matt Gassen said.
The ever-growing backpack program takes care of children's hunger needs over the weekend, when they otherwise would go without. Plastic bins filled with food will go home to more than 5,000 students just this weekend.
"It's an incredible number, but it speaks to the need of childhood hunger and how we can find ways to work together to find solutions for this problem," Allison Struck said, who oversees the program.
While the non-profit helps more people than ever before, Gassen says it still falls short of the 16 million meals necessary to meet all the need in South Dakota.
Feeding South Dakota is aware the recent sequester cuts to the SNAP program will likely send even more families to its doorstep.
They hope they have enough donations to meet the increased need.