Update – Feb. 22, 2021

All positions have been filled. Thank you for your interest in Sioux Falls Thrive. Follow us on Facebook to learn more about our work and upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Nearly 7,000 children in Minnehaha County live in homes where parents may have to choose between buying a half-gallon of milk or the gallon of gas it takes to get to work.

That’s Feeding America’s 2018 estimate of the number of kids whose families struggle to afford enough food. Sioux Falls Thrive — a cradle to career initiative aimed at eliminating obstacles to student success — is doing something about it.

That estimate is low. The economic fallout from the pandemic means families who never before needed help putting food on the table are turning to local pantries for support.

Candy Hanson

Director, Community Collaboration, Sioux Falls Thrive

Thrive’s Food Security Action Team is monitoring and contributing to changes in local food distribution systems. It’s also finding innovative ways to get the word — and food — out to families in need of assistance.

“It’s a challenging time,” said Hanson. “The team and our community are blessed to have collaborative partners such as Feeding South Dakota, Faith Temple Food Giveaway, and the Door Dash program sponsored by the Helpline Center. The ‘we can get through this together’ spirit is alive and pressing forward in Sioux Falls.”

Based in research

The team bases its work on the Food Security & Food Systems in Sioux Falls, SD study conducted by Augustana Research Institute on behalf of Sioux Falls Thrive and in collaboration with Feeding South Dakota.

Term limitations mean there are five positions on the food security team.

In filling those vacancies, Thrive looks for a balance between community volunteers and representatives from the business, government, nonprofit and faith-based groups already making an investment in food security.

“We need to attract a mix of volunteers,” Hanson said. “Anyone with a passion for making sure that all kids in our area have the nutrition they need to grow and thrive is welcome to apply.”

Applications were accepted until midnight, Feb. 12, 2021.

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