Sioux Falls Health Department Announces Intent to Award Grant to Help Address Food Insecurity

Sioux Falls, South Dakota: The Sioux Falls Health Department is proud to announce they intend to award the Eat Well Sioux Falls grant to Sioux Falls Thrive. The money will be used to pilot an Eat Well Mobile Market, which looks to improve access to healthy food options in specified neighborhoods in Sioux Falls.

In the spring of 2022, the City of Sioux Falls put out a call for applicants for the Eat Well Sioux Falls grant program. The goal was to identify and fund an initiative that proposes a market-based solution to improve healthy food access in identified priority areas in the city. The City established this grant program because the 2022 Community Health Assessment report showed an increase in the number of areas in Sioux Falls that were concurrently designated as being low income and low food access.

“The opportunity to get healthy foods shouldn’t depend on our education, income, or where we live. Every member of our community deserves access to affordable and healthy foods, and that’s why this grant is so important,” said Dr. Charles Chima, Public Health Director for the City of Sioux Falls. “I’m looking forward to seeing the impact that this mobile market will have on the neighborhoods that need it.”

The Eat Well Mobile Market program was developed by a community coalition led by Sioux Falls Thrive. Others include Fair Market/Empower, First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Church on the Street, Augustana Research Institute, Active Generations, Sioux Falls Food Co+op, Feeding South Dakota, and Thrive’s Food Security Action Team. The mobile market is a literal grocery store on a repurposed vehicle that will bring healthy foods to low-access areas. The vehicle will pull into identified neighborhoods to provide a dignified, fun, and healthy shopping experience for people who are hampered by distance from grocery stores, income, and transportation limitations to get healthy food. Shoppers will pay for the food as they would in any grocery store, which can include using SNAP benefits for payment.

“Collaboration is the only way this initiative is moving forward. The community coalition that proposed the mobile market did the hard work, and Sioux Falls Thrive is just helping it cross the finish line,” said Michelle Erpenbach, president of Sioux Falls Thrive. “We know the mobile market will remove a barrier for community members while presenting the opportunity to build relationships to determine other needs in the area.”

The Sioux Falls Health Department intends to award $250,000 to Sioux Falls Thrive to pilot the mobile market. The contract to formally award the grant to Sioux Falls Thrive will be on the consent agenda at the Sioux Falls City Council meeting on May 2

Contact: Megan Forster, Communications Strategist | 605-367-8776


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