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How gas prices impact food security in Rapid City

Feeding South Dakota C.O.O. Matt Burns says the rising fuel prices are causing the...
Feeding South Dakota C.O.O. Matt Burns says the rising fuel prices are causing the organizations to shift their budget around.(Nick Nelson)
Updated: Mar. 12, 2022 at 5:30 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - If you’ve had to buy gas in the last few days, you’ve probably noticed you’re paying a lot more, in part because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. But these rising prices are having wide reaching impacts, including access to food for those in need.

Feeding South Dakota C.O.O. Matt Burns says the rising fuel prices are causing the organizations to shift their budget around. He stresses, however, that those who rely on Feeding South Dakota will still get what they need.

“Any time that you receive donor dollars, you want to be a good steward of those dollars and being efficient in your purchase of food and quality, but also in you cost per mile and per person of delivering that food to where it’s needed.=,” Burns said.

While Feeding South Dakota can adjust its budgetary resources, smaller food banks may see an increase in people seeking their help.

Rapid City’s Church Response Pantry Manager Kent Reimann says he’s seen more people come in this past week.

He attributes this rise, not only to gas prices, but several other economic factors.

“Inflation hits everybody, it hits lower incomes the worst, and you’ve also got shortages. Everybody that’s been in the grocery store can see. They’re not severe shortages, but there’s empty shelves where there weren’t before. So, you’ve got a perfect storm here.”

Reimann adds that while they’ve seen a sharp increase over the past week, the number of clients has been climbing since last June.

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