Sioux Falls, SD—U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today toured the Sioux Falls Community Food Bank and highlighted the continued need for donations at centers across South Dakota as the holiday season continues. Johnson met with staff at the facility to hear more about the needs of the local community and what South Dakotans can do to help those in need.
“The need at food banks across our state doesn’t end once Thanksgiving passes. In fact, places like the Sioux Falls Community Food Bank often face an increased need for donations as the holiday season continues,” said Johnson. “The staff here in Sioux Falls is doing an outstanding job providing services to the local community, and it is important that we remember the important service food banks provide this time of year.”
Food banks across South Dakota are facing an increased need during this economic slowdown. In Sioux Falls, the local food bank helped a total of 14,626 people in 2008 by distributing 388,627 pounds of food. This year, the facility is expected to serve a total of 17,949 people by providing 495,233 pounds of food.
In Rapid City, the local food bank is expected to serve an estimated 29,339 people this year and provide 480,812 pounds of food. Last year, 17,866 people were provided 308,150 pounds of food. Nationwide, 49 million Americans had trouble putting food on the table last year, a number that is expected to increase this year.
“More and more Americans are finding it harder to put food on the table during these tough economic times. I will continue to fight for every last dime for federal programs that help families that need it the most,” continued Johnson.
Johnson was joined on the tour by Matt Gassen, Executive Director; Jennifer Stensaas, Coordinator; Kay Torney, Agency Relations Director; Steve Rohwedder, Warehouse Manager; Jim Dawson, Food Procurement; Dave Otteman, Financial Director and Jim Gray, President, Food Bank Board of Directors.
Johnson has been a longtime supporter of federal programs that provide important assistance to families in South Dakota and across the country, including The Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. He has worked to increase funding for these programs to meet increasing demand.