Two food pantries, one mission
Volunteers: Community support makes giving possible
January 21. 2014 10:34AM
Many cities struggle keeping one food pantry stocked. There are two in Dell Rapids, and organizers and volunteers say they don’t have much trouble meeting demand. Not because there isn’t a need. Rather, it’s the community’s willingness to give that ensures the Daily Bread and Storehouse food pantries don’t have to turn anyone away.
“It’s over the top,” Carolyn Drew said of community’s support of Dell Rapids’ food pantries. Drew is a volunteer and committee member at the Storehouse Community Food Pantry, housed in the basement of the Methodist Church and operated under the umbrella of the Dell Rapids Area Ministerial Association.
She said donors provide 100 percent of what the Storehouse is able to give, whether it‘s meat or food donated throughout the year, or an occasional kitchen appliance needed for storage.
“We’ve been very fortunate. Whenever we need it, they come through,” she said. “There is just all kinds of help.”
People also donate money, which helps both the Storehouse and Quarry Rock Church’s Daily Bread Food Pantry buy food when donations slow. Both Dell Rapids pantries work with Feeding South Dakota, a charitable organization that provides food to pantries for 18 cents a pound.
Between the Storehouse and Daily Bread, anywhere from 30 to 40 families per month visit a Dell Rapids food pantry each month.
Rina Jensen, Daily Bread director, said no one likes to see such high numbers of families needing help, but she takes solace knowing that they have a place to turn.
“If we can provide their groceries, they can use whatever money they do have on their utilities or whatever other bills they might have,” she said.
Drew and Jensen both emphasized that steps are taken to prevent people from using the food pantries as their primary food source.
“It’s a hand up, not a handout,” Jensen said.
“If there is someone who has been there continuously, then we try to visit with them and ask if there is other help that they need,” she said. “If there is, then we recommend them to a pastor or try to help them get further assistance.”
Milt Borah, pastor at Quarry Rock Church, said it’s the church’s job to come to the aid of those who need help within the community. And when places of worship meet that burden, everyone benefits, not just those who are being helped, he said.
“It’s the church’s responsibility to care for the people in our community,” Borah said. “If there were more churches who would take care of the people in our community, there would be less need for state programs.”
Dell Rapids churches do a great job of living up to the responsibility, he said.
Daily Bread’s food giveaways are twice monthly, the second and fourth Mondays of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Storehouse hosts a food giveaway every Wednesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m.