Kerri DeGraff with Feeding South Dakota said, "I think it's important just to be aware that hunger does exist and that it exists right here within our local community."
said, "At this point we don't have the resources to keep our food pantry stocked and going at that capacity and to serve that many people."
A study called Map the Meal Gap provides insight of just how widespread hunger is in their community.
One in five children are in need of food in the state.
"Nearly 50 percent of the people we see at our food pantry are kids and so I think it speaks volumes to the amount of children who are living in food insecure homes," said DeGraff
While rural counties, such as Buffalo, Shannon, and Todd counties, continue to see the highest percentages of food insecurity in the state, Lincoln and Minnehaha's numbers are on the rise.
said, "Within our larger communities, we do see numbers of food insecure individuals slightly rising and so while it's still significantly lower than what we see in the rural areas, it's still something that we're watching."
Meaning the organization will only have to work harder.
"When we see data showing that the need continues to grow, we wonder how are we going to continue to not only keep up but to lessen that need," said DeGraff
So, people like Earnesta don't have to worry about where their next meal will come from.
said, "I didn't even see all that stuff, caught me off guard with that one."