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Published on August 17, 2015

Avera Announces Donation to Support Mobile Food Pantry

SIOUX FALLS (Aug. 17, 2015) – Avera Health announces the donation of $75,000 to Feeding South Dakota to reach out to communities through its Mobile Food Pantry.

Avera will donate $25,000 per year over three years. Avera has supported Feeding South Dakota for 10 years, most recently through a $35,000 donation to support expansion and relocation of food pantries in Pierre and Sioux Falls.

The Mobile Food Pantry grant will help ensure that people in the communities of Huron, Ipswich, Miller, Lower Brule and Reliance can continue to be served with free food for people in need.

The Mobile Food Pantry, the newest program of Feeding South Dakota, began operation in January 2013. Timely deliveries allow for the distribution of fruit, vegetables, dairy products and baked goods as well as non-perishable food.

“Through the help of 350 partnerships, Feeding South Dakota reaches all 66 counties of our state. Yet a significant ‘hunger gap’ still exists, especially in the underserved, rural areas of the state. In fact, one in eight of all South Dakota households are considered ‘food insecure,’” said Kerri DeGraff, Development Director for Feeding South Dakota. “We invite other businesses, organizations and individuals to join Avera in supporting this vital outreach.”

A lack of nutrition leads to greater susceptibility of disease and chronic conditions. A lack of energy leads to lower performance on the job or in school. Hunger, especially in children, has been shown to weaken cognitive function, impair social interaction and cause declines in alertness and class participation. The effects of ongoing hunger and lack of nutrition can last a lifetime.

“We are grateful for Avera’s donation to help us continue reaching several communities and counties in our state. Thanks to these needed funds, families will be supplied with nutritious food, rather than turning to lower-cost foods that are often high in fat and sugar, and low in protein and nutrients,” said Pat Mahon, President of the Feeding South Dakota Board.

“Avera is honored and privileged to participate in the ministry of feeding the hungry,” said John T. Porter, President and CEO of Avera Health. “Nutritious food is simply basic to health and well-being, and so the efforts of Feeding South Dakota are a very close fit to the Avera mission of making a positive impact in the lives of persons and communities through quality services that are guided by Christian values.”

About Avera Health

Avera is a regional partnership of health professionals who share support services to provide excellent care at 300 locations in 100 communities in eastern South Dakota and surrounding states. Our ministry, our people and our superior value distinguish Avera. We carry on the health care legacy of the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters, delivering care in an environment guided by our values of compassion, hospitality and stewardship. Avera employs more than 16,000. Inpatient, outpatient and clinic visits totaled nearly 2.7 million in the last year, a number equal to more than twice the population of the Avera service area. For more information, please visit

About Feeding South Dakota

Feeding South Dakota is a non-profit hunger relief organization affiliated with Feeding America that is fighting to eliminate hunger in the state through collaboration and the support of many. Partnerships with growers, processors, retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and restaurants allow the organization to provide food for an estimated 100,000 individuals every year. In 2014, Feeding South Dakota distributed more than 12.5 million pounds of food, equating to over 10.4 million meals. Almost half of people served were children and infants. Among its programs include the BackPack program, food pantries, and Mobile Food Pantry.

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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