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Food Pantry Breaks More Records in 2013

January 29, 2014, 5:03 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Food Pantry Breaks More Records in 2013

Heating your home isn't the only thing that's costing more. The price of housing, food and gasoline all rose in 2013. And because of those added costs, the Food Pantry in Sioux Falls saw a record number of visitors last year.

Last year, the Pantry saw an increase of over 10-percent in the number of visitors.

While this number keeps going up every year, the non-profit is optimistic they can keep up with the demand. 

In 2013, the Food Pantry had 700 more visitors than 2012. And it's not the same people coming in over and over again.

"If we take all of last year, 60-percent of the people that came through our pantries, came through that one time," Feeding South Dakota Operations Director, Chad Olson said. 

Not only is Feeding South Dakota's Food Pantry giving more people their basic necessities, it's also giving each person that visits more supplies than years past.

"One of the things we're also doing too, is we're putting more food to those individuals. So if we take a look at the pounds of food that we've distributed, it's been a 30-percent increase," Olson said. 

The Farm Bill just passed the House today, and Chad Olson with Feeding South Dakota says this could also fuel the problem of more people needing their resources. 

The Farm Bill would cut more than $8 Billion from the food assistance program, SNAP.

"When that funding is cut, we know that more people are going to need food. The question is, how many more? That we just don't know. Other than we just keep seeing an increase," Olson said. 

Even though the need continues to grow each year, Olson says the non-profit will continue to support those in need.

"The benefit that we have, living where we live, is the giving nature of people in this community. We had this huge increase, and we've been able to meet it. The reason we've been able to do that is the donations through this community," Olson said. 

Olson says they have also seen an increase in the number of working families that came through last year.

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