SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — This has been a challenging winter for many charities, including Feeding South Dakota.
In addition to higher food prices, heavy snow and closed interstates have slowed down efforts to get food to families who need it.
“Our supply chain has been disrupted as you would expect with the weather that impacted our mobile distributions. It also impacted our supply chain. So it’s been harder to get food in the month of December and January,” said CEO Lori Dykstra.
Dykstra says the organization is paying around $75,000 more a month due to limited access to donations and high food prices.
“We’ve spent more on purchase product than we ever have. Our donated product is down so it’s causing a need for us to purchase more food for our mobile distributions and our backpack program,” Dykstra said.
On average, Feeding South Dakota now serves more than 1,200 families each month. That’s a 28% increase from a year ago.
“There’s so many people that need help out there,” Barb Ness said.
That’s why Ness volunteers with Feeding South Dakota as often as she can.
“I just feel good about doing it. It’s a real worthwhile organization, and I want to continue as long as I can,” Ness said.
At the Faith Temple Food Giveaway, Pastor Jeff Hayes says the rising cost of inflation as well as the recent cold weather has also caused them to see more people in line to get food boxes.
“When you look at the cars out in the parking lot, they circle around the whole parking lot at the fairgrounds and sometimes out on Madison. So there’s just hundreds of cars and hundreds of people,” Hayes said.
The giveaway gives out around 1,200 boxes of food per week. Hayes says that number is higher than previous years.
“I know that with prices going up for food, we’ve had a whole lot more people, and some people coming for the very first time,” Hayes said.
Hayes says the Faith Temple Food Giveaway hasn’t had problems getting food, but says the cost of food has continued to rise.
“In the store, you know, meat and milk and eggs, and pretty much anything and everything costs more. And we’ve been able to, you know, obtain a lot of those products,” Hayes said.
Sara Skyberg has been volunteering on Fridays since June. She says all the volunteers have made the giveaways possible with the recent snow.
“It’s just a big, helpful community to really bring people and with all the wonderful volunteers that help every week. It just makes it so much easier, and it’s always great to see the smiles on people’s faces every time they receive a box,” Skyberg said.
No matter what the rest of the winter brings, both groups will continue their work making sure every family has access to food.