SIOUX FALLS S.D. (KELO) — Changes are in the works to combat food deserts in Sioux Falls after a study last May found certain areas of the city lacked accessibility.
Franklin Food Market and Fair Market West are a couple of the grocery stores that are giving more families access to affordable food.
“We just had a lady yesterday like, ‘I can’t believe I got this over $100,’ and she had boxes of groceries. Even like, ‘Hey, somebody believes that we’re worth it.’ I mean, that was a big thing when certain resources move out, like what I don’t matter anymore, and I know that there was that kind of reinvested some like, ‘Yeah, everyone matters and we’re here for you,'” executive director of Fair Market West Kristin Johnson said.
She says families in food deserts walk miles to get the things they need.
“Imagine your family of four and carry everything on the way home. There’s not a lot of people that sign up for that. So then you get down to like two or three bags, and then suddenly have to go every few days. Who wants to do that every few days? That’s an issue too,” Johnson said.
In addition to the location, cost is also a factor.
“You can have these people failing to have their needs met even though there’s food all around them just because of the price,” Johnson said.
“Yes, we have those folks that are coming in with six-figure salaries. But with every six-figure salary comes a whole slew of folks who are not going to make that,” president of Sioux Falls Thrive Michelle Erpenbach said.
She invites anyone who is passionate about ending food insecurity to share ideas as the city implements resources.
“We’ll gladly put you into the word plugging into policy issues. We’re plugging into areas where we can really find quick fixes for neighborhoods. We’re looking really at how do we make this work in the places that people need it to work,” Erpenbach said.
The Mobile Market is the latest initiative to combat food deserts. The truck will travel around the city welcoming anyone who wants to shop.