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IN THIS EDITION: Food Security update and more!
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Collaboration is key to food security success


As 2019 nears its end, the Rapid City Collective Impact team and our community partners not only reflect on the past year but on the past three years of working to make Rapid City a more "food secure" city.

Community members who seek food assistance and the providers who serve them had requested more mobile food distributions. In response, Feeding South Dakota added a specialized truck and trailer to its fleet this year and increased the number of mobile distributions in neighborhoods across the city.

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation, home of the RCCI initiative, awarded a $50,000 grant to Feeding South Dakota to support staffing and data collection associated with the newest trailer, and early numbers show the impact is significant.

But it is just one of many ongoing efforts to increase access to nutritious food options in Rapid City, especially for some of our most vulnerable residents. Most recently, the 211 HelpLine Center added a new food calendar to its website. By clicking on "Agenda" mode, people can view a list of food pantries and their hours, as well as locations and times when free meals are served each day in Pennington County.

"This is a project we've been working on with the Food Security Oversight Committee and our work group partners for the past year," BHACF Programs Manager and RCCI team member Jamie Kirsch said.

"Members cataloged all they knew about where meals were offered throughout the city," Kirsch added. "Our hope is that this tool will make it easier for folks to find a hot meal and help direct nonprofits and churches that are considering serving a new meal toward filling in the gaps."

Learn more about other community-wide food security efforts in the latest RCCI Food Security Initiative update, Serving Up Success, now available at rccimpact.org.

"We are super excited about all the incredible work happening in our community and thankful to our RCCI partners that continue to come together on a regular basis to make this work happen," Kirsch said.

Simon Says ...

In case you missed it, Rapid City Area Schools Superintendent Lori Simon, Ph.D., penned an insightful opinion piece in November about how food insecurity affects children, especially students' ability to learn when they are hungry.

Dr. Simon also encouraged community members to support the many nonprofits that provide food to families in need when school is not in session.

Thank you, Dr. Simon, for your wise words and continued support!
Community Needs Report

The United Way of the Black Hills recently released the findings of its 2019 Community Needs Assessment, highlighting seven areas that focus groups mentioned most often as needing attention in the Rapid City area.

Mental health topped the list, followed by substance and alcohol abuse, housing, birth-to-5 childcare services, the economy, food security, and family life.

Visit the United Way's website to read the full report.

"Together, building the most caring community."

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