SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The newest food pantry in Sioux Falls is getting a lot of use. It’s located at the Sanford Children’s Hospital. Walk into the Sanford Children’s Hospital, and it’s doubtful you would even notice a small room packed with food and a large freezer and refrigerator.
You will find everything from fresh fruit to frozen meat to cereal boxes.
The food bank at the children’s castle has been in existence for about six months now. And the two social workers in charge say they are surprised at the number of people who’ve been able to use this service.
“I was surprised at the amount of people who were scoring positive for food insecurity. We had a lot of people who either at the beginning of our food pantry didn’t score positive but later on did or who just kind of had that mentality of I didn’t need help before, but now, with the food prices increasing and pretty much everything increasing were struggling a bit,” said Maggie Luschen, a Sanford Social Worker.
And so far has helped nearly 700 patient families who screened positive for food insecurity. Luschen says the reaction from the patient families has been rewarding.
This Food Pantry gives out more than 1,200 pounds of food each week. And so far has helped nearly 700 patient families who screened positive for food insecurity. Luschen says the reaction from the patient families has been rewarding.
“We get a lot of people who are extremely grateful and who are just shocked at the amount that we give them even though it’s not really as much compared to the other food banks. We have a lot of kids who will kind of start peeking through and we got snacks! And they get really excited,” said Luschen.
When young patients check in to the castle, their families are given a questionnaire that can alert the social workers to possible food insecurity. Luschen says it’s not uncommon for her to have to talk people into accepting the food because they always believe someone else is worse off. Feeding South Dakota provides the food.