Food Bank (Distribution Center)
While many communities throughout South Dakota operate food pantries and similar emergency shelters, Feeding South Dakota is the only “food bank” organization in the state. A food bank distributes food and other essential items to non-profit, charitable organizations, including food pantries and shelters. The model below shows how Feeding South Dakota food banks operate. Food banks, including the distribution facilities operated by Feeding South Dakota, are generally affiliated with Feeding America, which is a national network of food banks. The donors and partners of both Feeding America and Feeding South Dakota, including generous individuals, businesses, corporations, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provide food and monetary donations to Feeding South Dakota. With financial donations, Feeding South Dakota can purchase, procure, and transport food to their facilities. The food is then distributed to various Feeding South Dakota member organizations, known as agencies, including youth programs, senior centers, community kitchens, food pantries, and homeless shelters. These agencies then distribute food to the hungry – the one in every eight individuals in South Dakota.
Feeding South Dakota’s largest program is food banking, and the program exists at all three facilities. Without these facilities located throughout the state, some of the poorest counties in the nation will be underserved because of transportation costs associated with shipping food across the state. More than 77 percent of the food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters served by Feeding South Dakota report that if the food banks were eliminated, they would have significant or devastating effects on their programs.