Tea Community Food Distribution Feb. 25



Food Response team began providing supplemental food to members of the community in need. At that time it was a subcommittee of the Tea Area Food Pantry. Although the stress of Covid continues to affect a large group, the reality is that food insecurity in the area is something that will likely not go away.

According to feedingsouthdakota.org, food insecurity refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.

Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.

Food insecurity exists in every county in South Dakota. But not everyone struggling with hunger qualifies for federal nutrition assistance.

And that is where one local group hopes to make a difference.

Tea Community Food Distribution, is a rebranded committee, and is not affiliated with the Food Pantry.

Melody Rohrer the Office Manager at Trinity Lutheran Church said they hope to provide a monthly food distribution to people in Tea.

The committee is made up from community members, not just individuals from the church, although the distribution will take place at Tea Trinity, located at 335 West 1st St., Tea.

This month, Tea Community Food Distribution will be held on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 4-6 p.m.

Individuals in need of food should register for this drive through distribution. One can register on the TeaTrinityChurch Facebook page or by calling the church office at 605-498-2343.

Rohrer said that participants can remain in their cars.

“It is a drive through distribution,” she said, “They don’t have to get out of their cars. Food is put in their trunk by volunteers, similar to the distributions in Sioux Falls.”

To donate food, gift cards or money, interested people can call Trinity Lutheran Church at 605-498-2343 and talk to the office manager. Individuals can drop off donations between 9 a.m. and noon on weekdays or by appointment. Gift card or monetary donations can also be mailed to Trinity at P.O. Box 37, Tea, SD 57064. Make sure to mark checks with “Tea Community Food Distribution” in the memo to denote where it goes.

Tea Area Food Pantry continues to be open for those who need it. The Pantry is typically open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-5 p.m. for emergency food help. The pantry will be closed on Feb. 25 due to the Tea Community Food Distribution that day.

Data from Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2020 study shows that in South Dakota 95,080 people are struggling with hunger, and of them 35,330 are children.

According to the study one in nine people struggle with hunger, and one in six children struggle with hunger. It’s also noted that people facing hunger in South Dakota are estimated to report needing $48,379,000 more per year to meet their food needs.

Tea Community Food Distribution is doing their part to help locally.