SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Statistically, one in eight South Dakotans will become food-insecure sometime this year. On Sunday, the continued fight against hunger takes a different turn at the Canaries Birdcage with two local churches collecting food and then making sculptures out of the collection.
St. Marks Lutheran and Westside Lutheran Churches collected the food, and then they started building.
"I think it's a lot of fun. I think donating and helping people ought to be fun. It's something that makes you feel good, but you can have fun doing it," Feeding South Dakota executive director Matt Gassen said.
With all the donated food going to Feeding South Dakota, the two churches decided to have a little fun with their collection.
It is a friendly competition to combat the much larger issue of hunger in South Dakota.
"I think it's something that people are highly aware of, but I think it's like a lot of other things, it can kind of become old news or something we take for granted," event organizer Sheri Goldammer said.
St. Marks put their building skills to the test and made a castle, while Westside Lutheran put together a scale model of their brand new church.
"People are bringing a lot of food and making a special occasion out of it, so that hopefully then we're always remembering that people need food," St. Marks Lutheran Church member Cathy Brechtelsbauer said.
It is a need that may be hidden at first glance.
"I think really it's part of the issue of not knowing what hunger really looks like in South Dakota. I think we see what hunger looks like in a third-world country, but it looks different in our own state," Gassen said.
Thanks to the work of the churches, there are now fantastic sculptures of food outside of the Birdcage. That is not really why they're here. They're here for the ultimate goal of ending hunger for good here in South Dakota.
"People are hungry. You can tell by so much need, people coming for assistance and that kind of thing," Brechtelsbauer said.
"I think in an effort of making it fun, you also help people understand the issue of hunger in a different way," Gassen said.
Maybe with that different way, they have found an effective weapon against hunger.
Feeding South Dakota had their donation truck at the ballpark Sunday morning to collect all the food from the sculpting efforts. They will not know how much was donated for another day or so.
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