Food pantries across South Dakota in dire need of donations

Food pantries across South Dakota are seeing an increase in the number of people seeking emergency food assistance and the demand is often larger than the inventory of food available.

According to Feeding South Dakota, hardships caused by the government shutdown, lack of access to school meals during the summer and back to school expenses have been compounded by tornadoes and statewide flooding. The increase in numbers of those served has nearly depleted Feeding South Dakota’s food drive inventory. Their locations in Pierre, Sioux Falls and Rapid City and food pantries statewide are all in dire need of food or monetary donations.

For every $1 donated, Feeding South Dakota can thus provide 3 meals to those who are food insecure. This food is then made available to the non-profit agency partners, such as the Pierre Area Referral Service (PARS). Some of the most requested foods are:

  • Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Cereal
  • Boxed Meals (i.e. Hamburger Helper, Tuna Helper)
  • Pasta and Rice
  • Canned fruits
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned meats and canned pasta
  • Soup

Feeding South Dakota asks for your support, no matter the community in which you live. Single mothers and fathers, vulnerable adults, senior citizens, toddlers and babies, there is no discrimination when it comes to food insecurity.

September is Hunger Action Month. There’s no better time than today to “TAKE ACTION.” Feeding South Dakota asks individuals, businesses, civic groups, churches and schools to consider those who are hungry and host a food drive because hunger never takes a break.

For more information visit or send an email to

Feeding South Dakota is a member of the Feeding America national network of 200 food banks and is the only Feeding America affiliated food bank in South Dakota.

On a daily basis, Feeding South Dakota’s food pantries report lines of people waiting at the door for it to open at 10am.

The typical “food drive” season starts in mid-October, as the holidays approach.

Feeding South Dakota distributes food to those in need through its five program areas: Food Bank, Food Pantry, the BackPack Program, Mobile Food Pantry Program and Commodity Distribution. The Food Bank Program is the largest program that partners with non-profit agencies across the state to feed chronically hungry individuals and families. Because of its affiliation with Feeding America, the Food Bank Program secures, and transports donated food from across the country with monetary donations we receive.

Historically, this support from the Food Bank is not enough for food pantries to rely on. Whether in Rapid City or Sioux Falls or the many communities in between, pantries need local support as well in the form of food drives. Food drives are essential to food pantries to offer a variety of foods that the Food Bank Program cannot provide like cereal, peanut butter, canned chicken and tuna, boxed “Helper” meals, and dry pastas. Most food pantries offer “client choice” or “guest choice”, allowing the recipients to choose the foods that their families enjoy or that support their special dietary needs.

Donate Food

A box of cereal, a can of soup, a jar of peanut butter, one small donation can change someone’s life today. The shelves of our food pantries are stocked thanks to food donated by businesses and individuals in our community. Donated food products have a direct impact on relieving hunger across the state. With your help, we can make sure no one in South Dakota goes hungry.

Fresh Produce

Feeding South Dakota will accept fresh garden produce! 73% of the individuals served by Feeding South Dakota purchase less expensive but less healthy foods as a way to stretch their grocery budget. For food insecure families, a bag of apples is considered a luxury that they have to give up when grocery shopping. Fresh produce is one of the most demanded, but least donated items in our food pantries. Donate extra vegetables from your garden, apples and pears from fruit trees, or pick up a few extra bags of carrots on a grocery trip! Click here to learn more about our Plant A Row initiative.

Domestic Meat

All domestic meat donations must be processed in a USDA-certified facility. It must bear a state or federal inspection seal and cannot be stamped “NOT FOR SALE”.

Wild Game

We are unable to accept home-processed wild game. To donate wild game to the food bank / food pantry, it must be processed in a USDA-certified facility that partners with Sportsmen Against Hunger, it must bear a state or federal inspection seal and also must be stamped “NOT FOR SALE”. Contact Sportsmen Against Hunger for more information on donating your wild game.


Shell eggs must come from a licensed egg handler that follow the egg law regulations. Eggs have to be candled, washed (w/approved wash), and graded. There are more requirements such as labeling and traceability as well.

Food and Fund Drives

Not only do the food and monetary donations raised through food and fund drives help Feeding South Dakota serve individuals in need, these activities help raise awareness about the issue of hunger in our state.

Considering hosting a food and fund drive with your business, family, or place of worship? Feeding South Dakota wants to help! Download our Toolkit to get started, and contact us with any specific questions.

Where to Drop Off Food

We appreciate the additional gift of delivery! Donated food can be dropped off at our three locations during our hours of operation, Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM. If you live outside our three locations, please deliver your food donation to your local food pantry. Please call ahead to confirm days and hours of operation.

In Pierre: Food donations can be dropped off at the front door.
20562 Grace Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501-5660

In Rapid City: Food donations can be dropped off on the south side of the building.
1111 N Creek Drive, Rapid City, SD 57703-2219

In Sioux Falls: Food can be dropped off on the south side of the building.
4701 N Westport Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57107-0123