The pandemic is changing the way Feeding South Dakota gets food to people in need.
This summer cars lined up by the hundreds at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds to pick up meals, but now the idea is to hold smaller giveaways, right where people live.
But that takes more work, so volunteers and donations are needed now more than ever.
Tom Chap volunteers at Feeding South Dakota several times a week.
“I just unload the packages large packages and get them on the counter so people can put them in the bags,” Volunteer Tom Chap said.
Chap says it’s easy to volunteer in the middle of the pandemic if you just focus on the kids.
“We know there’s a lot of need, especially with the virus. It feels good to be able to the people in Sioux Falls that really need the food that we’re serving, the food that we’re getting ready for these kids. It’s actually special to be able to help them out,” Chap said.
Feeding South Dakota could use more people like Chap. A lot more.
“Volunteers are the heart of all we do here. We need thousands of volunteers to help us do the really hard work of mobile food distribution. We have packing the food and distributing the food,” Jennifer Stensaas with Feeding South Dakota said.
Believe it or not, Stensaas says they also need food. The pandemic has disrupted supply chains, so food that was paid for months ago has yet to arrive.
“Seriously, now is a really great time to do food drives. We still have Christmas coming, and we still have just the regular year of what happens after the holidays, so we always need food drives,” Stensaas said.
The next food giveaway is happening at First United Methodist Church Wednesday night.
“Bring an ID that’s all you need, walk up, drive up, however and we’ll get you food,” Tami Prostrollo with the First United Methodist Church said.
Prostrollo was here last month when the church helped serve more than 400 people.
“We had one person I was working beside last month and she started getting teary-eyed towards the end. She was watching all the folks come through and how kind the people in the vehicles were, the guests were and the number of people that came out to help, she said it gives me hope. It gives me hope that things are going to look up,” Prostrollo said.
Hope that’s fed by volunteers, food drives and donations.