Feeding South Dakota assists about 2,500 people each week. And Executive Director Matt Gassen says cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as SNAP, will stretch their resources even more.
According to Feeding America, SNAP cuts would have a huge economic impact across the country, but they would also be felt here in KELOLAND.
"Those people when they either have to lose their SNAP benefits, or they have a reduction in their SNAP benefits, that to fill that gap that is going to be created by that we know where those people are going to end up. And they're going to end up on our doorstep," Gassen said.
A gap Gassen says they can't afford to fill without the communities' help.
In recent weeks, you've heard KELO TV talk about the growing hunger problem across the state, and Feeding South Dakota has seen the response.
"In conversation with my pantry staff earlier today, we've noticed that there's been an increase in food donations, since KELO started their whole series on hunger awareness," Gassen said.
Now, KELO TV is teaming up with Feeding South Dakota for a food drive held at the station all day Friday in hopes of bringing in more food for the non-profit.
While they are hoping to get more non-perishables that will last longer, anything that can benefit others will be appreciated.
"I mean really it's the fruits and vegetables. It's the peanut butters and jellies. It's the products that have any kind of meat in them. You know, the beef stews that give us a little bit of opportunity to provide a product that's got some protein," Gassen said.
Gassen hopes drives like these will continue to fill their needs and says added pressures from SNAP cuts won't make it any easier.
"As we already struggle to meet the need, we know that the cut in SNAP benefits is only going to add more people to those roles, people looking for food assistance. And it's going to just put more pressure on a system that we're already struggling to keep up with," Gassen said.
Gassen says he has reached out Representative Kristi Noem to express his concerns about the impact SNAP cuts would have here in South Dakota.
KELOLAND Television will hold a donation drive for Feeding South Dakota on Friday. You still have a few days to start a collection.
Just stop by our Sioux Falls studio on South Phillips Avenue on Friday and drop off your donations of food or money.
Everything will go to Feeding South Dakota.