Initiative Goal

To ensure equitable access to regular, reliable, healthy, affordable retail grocery options for low-income, low-access neighborhoods in Sioux Falls.

Project Overview

A mobile grocery option will serve two purposes:

  • Address a critical transportation barrier to food access for basic grocery items.
  • Serve as an advanced scout for locations to establish potential permanent neighborhood stores.

New and existing relationships with neighborhood residents will help determine local food culture, perceptions of healthy food, and risks to the establishment of a permanent store.

Improved affordability comes through stocking a proportion of reclaimed or overstock grocery and its associated high margin per unit. These products subsidize prices of more costly items like fresh produce and meat.

How Will It Work?

Initial Location and Target Population

      • Cliff and Benson area (Tract 1) benefits from relationships established through Thrive’s Kid Link Riverside initiative.
      • Subsequent neighborhoods will be determined by the advisory board based on research and community input.

Potential for Initial Impact (from 2020 Census)

      • Total population: 6,363.
      • Race: 64% non-Hispanic White, 7% Hispanic/Latino, 9% Black, 14% Native American, 2% Asian, 4% multiracial.
      • Housing units: 2,050 occupied housing units / households.

Community Engagement

      • Neighborhood input will help determine culturally appropriate staples and perceptions of healthy food.
      • Early focus groups and potential neighborhood council will lead discussions.
      • There is a potential for creating a neighborhood hub around the mobile market to include access to farm produce and social services.
      • Volunteers will nurture neighborhood relationships and attend to hospitality and customer service.

Affordability and Equity

      • SNAP availability, cost shifting model using bulk purchasing/overstock, access to local growers.
      • Market locations will be based on centralized, equitable access in the selected neighborhoods.
      • Branding, marketing, social media, customer service, and reliable scheduling all speak to the underlying sense of dignity required by the founding coalition members — and we think it’s going to be a fun place to shop!

The Eat Well Sioux Falls Mobile Market is an initiative of Sioux Falls Thrive and was made possible by a grant from the Sioux Falls Health Department to improve healthy food access in identified priority areas in the city.

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Evaluation Plan

  • Sustainability – Current financial projections have the project breaking even in 18 months
  • Access – SNAP utilization and total number of transactions
  • Affordability – market basket price comparison
  • Shopper Feedback
    • Ease, perception as healthy, affordability, NPS
    • Surveys: In-line (live), QR code on receipt, neighborhood council
  • Long-Term Outcomes
    • Pre- and post; National benchmarks
    • Obesity / BMI, DM2, Heart disease
    • Collaboration with City of Sioux Falls
      • Public Health Director
      • Department of Public Health

Where Does Thrive Fit?

As the community’s cradle-to-career workforce development initiative, Thrive brings together community leadership to remove obstacles to student success and foster opportunity for all children. Thrive uses a Collective Impact Model to tackle three important issues that can stand in the way of success for children across our community: Food Insecurity, Affordable Housing and Out-of-School Time.

For the two-year pilot phase of the Eat Well Mobile Market, Sioux Falls Thrive will provide traditional backbone organizational services similar to the model used in developing Kid Link:

        • Project oversight
        • Facilitation support for Mobile Market advisory board
        • Full- and part-time staffing positions
        • Augustana Research Institute support
        • Human resources management
        • Payroll
        • Bookkeeping
        • Marketing
        • Social media

Advisory Board

First United Methodist Church

First Presbyterian Church

Church on the Street

Fair Market/Empower

Augustana Research Institute

Active Generations

Sioux Falls Food Co-Op

Feeding South Dakota

Food Security Action Team

City Health Department

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