SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Feeding South Dakota is constantly in need of more donations, especially protein.
It's one of the toughest items to come by that's also in high demand, but recent donations from local grocery stores have made a big difference.
"The main reasons we expanded our capacity here in this facility is not only just to be able to handle more dry product, but more importantly to be able to handle more refrigerated and frozen product," Feeding South Dakota CEO Matt Gassen said.
"In addition to the chicken leg quarters, you guys can do three items or up to 10 pounds from the freezer," he said.
"I'm shopping with my grandson today, although i shop here as well. today's just not my date to do so. i came to accompany him" Gwendolyn Beaudion said.
"What this facility has enabled us to do is to enable us to store more frozen and fresh product not only to stores but also to be able to distribute it out of our pantry as well," Gassen said.
"It's really about the importance of having protein in a meal itself. You tell people less than seven percent of all the food we distribute annually is protein," Gassen said.
"A lot of people have families and these families need to be fed, so by them being so gracious, and donating different types of meats and stuff, I'm sure it goes a long way. It goes a long with myself. I know it goes a long way with the family," Beaudion said.
"It's important to understand that protein is a product that is difficult for us to get donated, so when you have somebody that says we want to donate you know roughly 30,000 pounds of protein to you, it's significant, it's truly significant," Gassen said.
"We just put the stuff we want. we manage to find it and if it come in to this new place since it opened as a matter of fact. meat is very important meal. thats the main dish on their fact," Beaudion said.
"So when a family is struggling and they are going out and shopping and they have very minimal dollars to use to buy food, when they go to go a store, they are not going to be able to purchase or not going to choose to purchase things like protein like pork loin. they come to the food pantry looking for that assistance and they are going to be able to walk into our facility and they are going to get access to a five pound pork loin. it's going to mean so much to this family because not only is it going to provide protein for a meal, it is going to be able to provide protein for many meals," Gassen said.
Feeding South Dakota says one out of every eight people in South Dakota do not have consistent access to food.
The organization fills that gap for more than 190,000 people across the state every year.