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Hydrating the Food Desert

In 2018, a Community Foundation grant to Sioux Falls Thrive supported a food access study conducted by the Augustana Research Institute which identified food deserts throughout the city. A 2022 refresh of that study found that food insecurity is growing in Sioux Falls — as many as 17% of children in Minnehaha County today are food insecure. A new mobile market is aiming to change that by bringing healthy, affordable food to neighborhoods without easy access to grocery stores. The market is set up similar to a grocery store to provide a fun and dignified shopping experience.

Michelle Erpenbach, president of Sioux Falls Thrive, said, “We know the Mobile Market is removing a barrier for community members while presenting the opportunity to build relationships and determine other needs in these areas.”

Thanks to a recent grant from the City of Sioux Falls, as well as philanthropic support from Community Foundation donors, the Eat Well Mobile Market launched in September and currently brings access to healthy food to several locations around the city.

“Access to healthy food is such a fundamental need for everyone,” said Patrick Gale, the Foundation’s Vice President for Community Investment. “We are so excited to see support coalesce around this critical area.”

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