More families rely on Feeding South Dakota now than ever before. And starting this week, people in Rapid City will have a new place to go to for help.
Monday was moving day for Feeding South Dakota.
"This has been an exciting move for us because we can do so much more for the community," Feeding South Dakota warehouse worker Larry Welke said.
Nearly two decades ago, the program started as a food bank in a North Rapid building. But as Feeding South Dakota added a food pantry in Rapid City and a backpack program for kids, space became scarce.
"We've been operating beyond the capacity of our old facility for quite some time, and we'd like to say that we were getting really good at it," Feeding South Dakota development assistant Lauren Forsch said.
The small cooler that the organization has been storing its perishables in for nearly two decades wasn't big enough, forcing Feeding South Dakota to spend thousands of dollars to store some of the food off site.
"There were a couple times that we were unable to take a donated truckload of frozen product because we didn't have the space to store it," Forsch said.
But that's a thing of the past, as the new warehouse boasts a freezer that's more than quadruple the size. It's located in a 30,000 square foot warehouse. That's almost half the size of a football field.
"We can keep a lot more product on stock. Our coolers and freezers are bigger so we can carry more perishable foods and it reaches a lot more people. And there is a great need," Welke said.
"Being able to fill those shelves and get a lot more product in is really exciting," Forsch said.
With less than 48 hours before the new facility opens its doors, workers are scrambling to get everything moved and ready to go. But with the need being so great, it's a job they're determined to finish.
"There are a lot of people who don't know where their next meal is coming from and that's what we're here for. We just hope that we can reach them all," Welke said.
The facility opens Wednesday morning, and the location isn't the only thing changing. The Feeding South Dakota branch is beginning online ordering where different agencies can view the entire inventory and select what they need with the click of a mouse.