Food Security Action Team

Increasing neighborhood access to food


Create equitable and sustainable access to food in each neighborhood in a dignified and culturally appropriate manner.

 Primary Goals:

Facilitate collaboration among food rescue/recovery efforts in the Sioux Falls area.
Identify and support community builders in and for each neighborhood.
Create opportunities for people to buy affordable food in their neighborhoods.
Reduce the distance between the people who produce the food and those who need the food.

Ask any teacher. Hungry kids don’t do well in the classroom. Even short-term food insecurity can cause behaviors that affect academic achievement, and ultimately impact high school graduation rates. That’s a big deal to the volunteers serving on Thrive’s Food Security Action Team.

Feeding America estimates that 7,000 kids growing up in Sioux Falls live in households that struggle to put adequate food on the table.

Volunteers working in this area strive to align local charitable food resources and close hunger gaps. We’re also working with the Sioux Falls City Health Department to develop a community-wide Food Security and Healthy Eating Strategy.

Food Insecurity and Healthy Eating Outcomes

Food Security Action Team volunteers collaborate on a variety of topics and celebrated several wins as results of their work during and after the pandemic:

That’s a lot of progress. But Food Security Action Team volunteers continue to work toward solutions that help ensure families in need — from all the diverse communities in Sioux Falls — find and reach the groceries and meals they need to keep their kids fed.

What Are Thrive’s Action Teams?

Thrive Action Teams are key to achieving the organization’s mission to remove obstacles to student success and foster opportunities for all children, from cradle to career.

Action Teams use a collective impact approach to focus on creating systemic change in the conditions surrounding the educational system.

Success is achieved when an outcome or goal has been attained, with the result that either the cause of the obstacle is eliminated or that programs, policies, funding streams, and/or services are permanently altered, reducing the impact of the problem on a continuing basis.

Action Teams are comprised of individuals who:

    • Represent a cross-section of business, government, nonprofit, education and faith-based communities.
    • Have knowledge and experience to contribute to the ecosystem issue being addressed.
    • Are willing to make a commitment to participate regularly in Action Team activities.

Action Team membership is generally around 15 people but participation levels ebb and flow with current needs and topics. Volunteer opportunities often become available as each team continuously evaluates its requirements for expertise and participation. Occasional opportunities arise for short-term task-oriented teams, as well. If you’re interested in working as a Thrive volunteer, contact us.

Food Security Action Team Members

Allison Struck, Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation
Beth Honerman, SD Department of Health
Chenise Weber, Helpline Center
Jen Keller, Feeding South Dakota
Joel Gackle, Community Stakeholder
Josh Hayes, Faith Temple Food Giveaway
Lori Dykstra, Feeding South Dakota
Meg Hentges, South Dakota Public Broadcasting
Shelby Kommes, Sioux Falls Health Department

Additional work group members represent a variety of organizations across the community, including Church on the Street, Dakota Rural Action, Sioux Falls School District, South Dakota Voices for Peace, Health Connect of South Dakota, Augustana University, The Banquet, Lutheran Social Services, United Way, Sanford Health, Avera Research, First United Methodist Church, Minnehaha County Master Gardeners, Wellmark, Helpline, GroundWorks Connect, SDSU Extension, Community Revitalization Collective, Cash Cow Co-op, South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, AARP, and the American Heart Association.

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