History of Our Food Banks
The Food Service Center, Inc. - Sioux Falls Food Bank organizational history
In 1975, the Sioux Falls Ministerial Association met to discuss forming a community food pantry. Their objective: to have a centralized place where those in need of food would go to receive groceries. The churches would support the pantry and provide for those in need with donations of food and money.
In 1982, the group partnered with America’s Second Harvest (now Feeding America) and changed its name to The Food Service Center, Inc. Due to a combination of local donations and an allocation of America’s Second Harvest donations, the organization continued to grow and thrive in its mission to relieve hunger in the region. In that first year of operation, The Food Service Center, Inc. distributed 82,273 to some 20 local organizations in Minnehaha County.
Starting in 1991, renewed efforts were made to find organizations in eastern South Dakota and find more resources for food donations. The increased donations and discovery of organizations willing to serve led to the building of a new warehouse in 1994 at 3511 North 1st Street., where it has since remained.
Black Hills Regional Food Bank, Inc. - Rapid City Food Bank organizational history
In June of 1982 a committee of Rapid City business and social program leaders explored setting up a non-profit “Food Bank” that would distribute primarily donated food to agencies serving needy people. At that time 46 food banks were operating in larger cities across the country. In 1983, Alyce McKay, Eleanor Frost and Linda Lea Viken formed a non-profit corporation named Black Hills Regional Food Bank, Inc. With a humble beginning, the Black Hills Regional Food Bank initially distributed food out of a garage. By December of 1983, the Food Bank had moved to the National Guard Camp.
Although the Food Bank relocated several times over the years, its mission of service always remained consistent. Finally, in December of 1995 the Food Bank bought a 14,000 square foot facility at 814 N. Maple Ave., where it has remained for 15 years. By 1995, the Food Bank was distributing 1,344,539 pounds of food and served 150 agencies.
In 1997 the Food Bank became an affiliate of America’s Second Harvest, distributing 1,690,546 pounds of food to 200 agencies and serving 9 counties covering 19,321 square miles in South Dakota.
Community Food Banks of South Dakota Merger
In January of 2004, the Boards of Directors of The Food Service Center, Inc. in Sioux Falls, SD and The Black Hills Regional Food Bank, Inc. in Rapid City, SD unanimously voted to merge the two largest charitable food distribution organizations in the state. A new name, the Community Food Banks of South Dakota, Inc., was selected to reflect the statewide mission of meeting hunger needs. This merger brought together a combined 45 years of experience in providing hunger relief across South Dakota. The decision to merge the two organizations came as the result of a joint twelve month study into the feasibility of such an endeavor. The results of the merger analysis concluded that the two organizations could combine their common missions to more effectively address hunger issues all across South Dakota. Additionally, by collaborating on product solicitation and transportation partnerships greater quantities of food could be procured to meet the increasing demand for assistance.
After the merger, the combined distribution was over 10 million pounds of food to 500 agencies in 66 counties.
Feeding South Dakota Rebranding
In response to Second Harvest’s rebranding to Feeding America, the Community Food Banks of South Dakota also began the rebranding process. In May of 2010, the organization was rebranded with new name and logo. As the organization transformed from a pantry/food bank into a hunger relief organization, “Feeding South Dakota” was chosen to better represent the mission.
Feeding South Dakota Pierre Food Bank - addition of a new location
A task force was established to create a food bank operation in Pierre under the direction of the Mayor of Pierre. A food bank was needed to capture food donations that were going to waste in the area.
In May of 2010, the Feeding South Dakota Pierre Food Bank opened in the former Pepsi warehouse. This provided Feeding South Dakota with a third centralized location in the state to distribute to 26 counties. By March of 2011, the location distributed its 1 millionth pound of food.