Feeding South Dakota food pantries are closing

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Feeding South Dakota’s main objective has always been to make sure people have enough food to eat. During COVID-19, the organization had to adjust the way they distributed food and the programs they could continue to operate.

The non-profit continued to serve the people of South Dakota throughout the pandemic and people continued to need food. Jennifer Stensaas is Feeding South Dakota’s Communications Coordinator. She said feeding families during the new coronavirus outbreak was one of the group’s top priorities.

“We started to sense that there was an urgency to, find those children who weren’t going to school was really how this started, and we realized not being able to distribute the backpack program to them we wanted to focus on their families and making sure that a family had access to fruits and vegetables dairies meat and proteins and so we started specifically in Sioux Falls five different distributions at the community centers,” Stansaas said.

Not only has the location changed on where the organization gives out food…

The way they give food to families has changed too.

“The way we distribute foods, now since COVID started, is all in a drive-thru format. We have volunteers that help with traffic flow, lining up the cars and making sure, specifically in Sioux Falls, that they’re registered with the Helpline Center and that it’s their week to come back,” Stansaas said.

Feeding South Dakota will also begin transitioning to neighborhood distributions.

“So, what that means is, our food pantries will close, and we won’t be reopening them. So, it’s an exciting shift. I think it puts us in line to continue to help more and more individuals,” Stansaas said.

People will be able to receive food more than once every three months, which is their current situation. Stansaas believes this will be beneficial for everyone.

“Every organization should want to look for different ways of doing things to become more efficient, more effective, to do more. If you get stuck in that doing what you’ve always done you’re not addressing newer problems and you’re not moving forward,” Stansaas said.

Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from one to seven, Feeding South Dakota gives food at 1431 W 41st Street in Sioux Falls. Before families go, they need to pre-register by clicking here, or calling 211.

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