Season of giving, giving back to the South Dakota community

Feeding South Dakota leads several local organizations.
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 3:59 AM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -It’s the season for giving, and during this period there’s an upward spike in food drives. Some people all over the nation donate more now than at any other period during the year.

According to National Today, December marks the start of the month of giving. For businesses and people alike, this month specifically revolves around individuals making a difference in society by helping others.

“It’s very important to be a part of your community and show support in ways such as supporting your neighbor, supporting your friends because it could be anybody that’s in need during this time of the year,” said Mary Popkes, admissions advisor at Paul Mitchell the School, Rapid City.

The message said by Popkes was reciprocated by the hunger relief organization Feeding South Dakota whose mission is to see a hunger-free SD where everyone in need has access to nutritious food.

“A common phrase we kind of say around here is ‘you don’t know what you don’t know,’” said Feeding South Dakota western volunteer coordinator Kimberly Wallace, “You don’t know if that contractor who has a very successful business is just having a hard month and he’s got to pay his employees and therefor he is accessing food, so his employees can have more money. You don’t know if that elderly person living on a fixed income is struggling to make bills and so they need food access.”

Wallace added that although is it important to have food drives year-round, during the winter it is especially crucial due to families dealing with pressure coming from various factors.

“Winter is a hard time for many people, a lot of people who work seasonally, a lot of people who are just struggling with those decisions of ‘am I paying the heating bill this month or am I buying health food for my family,’” said Wallace.

In the past couple of months, Wallace said that Feeding South Dakota has seen an increase in families using the program.

“Some of the Biggest examples are our Piedmont and our Sturgis mobile distributions,” said Wallace, “We were planning originally for about 100 families in Piedmont we then had to go up to 120, in Sturgis we planned for 240 and we hit 240. Which was an increase from last month when we did 200,”

She added why it’s important for the community to think about community food drives even past the season of giving.

“Without food drive, we wouldn’t be able to hit this demand right now,” said Wallace

According to the World Giving Index, the U.S. was ranked third for being one of the most generous countries throughout the year but ranked second when it came to helping a stranger out.