SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Even with another round of stimulus checks, a lot of families are struggling to put food on the table. Officials with Feeding South Dakota tell us they are helping 5,000 more families each month compared to when the pandemic began.

Each week volunteers help out at Feeding South Dakota to make sure food gets to people who need it.

“I started at the beginning of the pandemic, I guess I was just looking for a way to be helpful, been trying to come every week or so, it’s been really good,” volunteer, Michael Hall said.

At the start of the pandemic, the organization closed food pantries in Sioux Falls and Rapid City and had to make adjustments as the need for food assistance grew.

“In March we ramped up here in Sioux Falls at the fairgrounds where we were hosting food distributions on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then we moved to Fairway throughout the summer, then to Wells Fargo, and then starting in October we transitioned away from those large food distributions to neighborhood activities and since October have launched 12 different sites in the Sioux Falls area,” operations director, Feeding South Dakota, Lesa Jarding said.

In February of 2020 Feeding South Dakota was serving about 7,600 households, that has since increased to about 12,600 households a month.

“Our goal is to distribute approximately 70-75 pounds per household once in a calendar month which would equate to about 58 meals for a household of four,” Jarding said.

Jarding is thankful for the support from partner agencies and volunteers who have helped make a difference in this uncertain time and looks forward to being able to help those who need it.

“Going forward I think we just need to continue to imagine how we can source healthy, nutritious food and get that food to individuals in communities across the state,” Jarding said.

Jarding says prior to March 20-20 Feeding South Dakota was hosting about 60 mobile food distributions in communities throughout the state. They have since increased that number to 110.