We’ve talked about the problem of food deserts in rural South Dakota. But even our biggest city, Sioux Falls, has areas where people lack easy access to groceries. With Hy-Vee closing its grocery store at 10th and Kiwanis on January 1, low-income folks in Sioux Falls will find it even harder to get groceries:
“If you don’t have the means to stretch your dollar for your grocery budget and with the rising cost of food and gas, you likely don’t have the ability to drive even further to get that food,” Lori Dykstra, CEO of Feeding South Dakota, said.
Dykstra says the neighborhoods around 10th and Kiwanis are already hotspots for food insecurity.
“We have a mobile distribution just a few blocks away at a church, Point to Serve church,” Dykstra said. “We know that that area is, that we serve it regularly. But we’re going to keep an eye on it and if this closure does cause some sort of larger hardship, we’ll make sure that we evaluate whether or not we need more mobiles or another site or possibly another day throughout the month.”
Dykstra says the entire city of Sioux Falls is seeing a rise in food insecurity as it is. About 15-to 20 percent more people have been showing up for their 14 mobile distributions [Lauren Soulek, “How Might the Closure of Hy-Vee Impact Neighborhoods near 10th and Kiwanis Ave. in Sioux Falls?” KELO-TV, 2021.12.02].
If I’m reading the map correctly, the only place to get groceries in Sioux Falls north of 12th Street and west of Minnesota Avenue will now be the Walmart way up on Marion Road at Highway 38. But if Hy-Vee can’t make it in this corner of town, can any entrepreneur come up with a viable plan to fill this grocery gap?