The City of Sioux Falls will be launching a new mobile market offering healthy foods at an affordable cost.
This would include multiple buses with markets stationed throughout neighborhoods in Sioux Falls.
The city will be giving two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to Sioux Falls Thrive to pilot the “Eat Well Sioux Falls mobile market.”
One of the best things about this idea is that the group pushing this, Thrive, lead by former city councilor Michelle Erpenbach, is that they are not re-inventing the wheel, they are instituting the proposal built on proven programs used in other cities and countries.
If you watch the entire presser, you will also realize that the program is expected to be self-sustaining after 18 months. In other words this isn’t just another problem the city throws money at and forgets about a year later, there is a long term goal to make this work.
One of the other intriguing parts is that they will try to help people sign up for SNAP benefits if they need that assistance. I would go even a step farther and have job listings and access to employment and higher education opportunities.
Let’s face it, between inflation, the roller coaster economy, high cost of housing and low wage jobs in Sioux Falls we have put ourselves in this place.
I was astonished to hear in the latest financial report from the city that in 2022 over 50% of sales tax revenue came from restaurants. The hospitality industry is known for some of the lowest wages of any sector.
I’m not sure why the service industry is propping up our sales tax collection but it is proof our economy in Sioux Falls is being supported by a low wage industry. Maybe Thrive needs to look at this disconnect?
I think everyone should have access to affordable food but they also should have access to liveable wages.
Recently Sioux Falls patrol officer Paul Whitechurch got the idea to join a national food delivery company for a side hustle after seeing one of his fellow officers with such a positive experience that took over social media in Sioux Falls.
â€œI just thought after sitting in my patrol car all day at the skate park it would be a nice change to actually work in a moving car.â€ said officer Whitechurch â€œWhile police work is certainly very fulfilling, what attracted me to this side hustle is the pleasure of delivering fast food to lazy bastards who are willing to pay $10 bucks for me to deliver food from a restaurant a 3 blocks away.â€
Whitechurch was surprised that after only a week on the job that the corporate office informed him that he was terminated.
We contacted the office to see if we could figure out why he was terminated so quickly? They sent us a statement;
â€˜While we try not to talk about why our independent contractors are terminated, we feel Whitechurch broke so many rules we needed to share. His delivery response times were about 3 to 4 times slower than our Sioux Falls average and sometimes he would bring 4-6 friends to assist him with the delivery. He was also caught eating the food he was supposed to deliver and even if he made it in good time, he never wore a mask when in contact with customers. That may fly at his day job, but at our business we take our protocols seriously and they must be followed.’
Guest Post by by David Z for Mayor and Patricia Lucas
I want Sioux Falls to be a thriving, robust city with healthy citizens. Healthy citizens need a nutritious diet based on regular access to fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat.
This goal has become increasingly challenging. In our state of South Dakota, one out of nine individuals is food insecure and one of every six children is at risk of going hungry. The closure of grocery stores, higher cost of food, transportation limitations, and the COVID pandemic make the problem of food access critical. Some areas of Sioux Falls don’t have nearby supermarkets – they are food deserts. Food deserts occur most often in rundown parts of a city when grocery stores move away from high crime and low income areas. The HyVee on Kiwanis Avenue recently closed creating a food desert.
A former manager of this supermarket commented on www.reddit.com that the closure of this store “will undoubtedly impact countless families and individuals who shopped there on a highly consistent basis. A majority of the clientele were elderly, disabled, and lower income shoppers who may already have a difficult time in getting to the grocery store, especially in frigid winter months … it really is leaving behind a food desert.”
This is a crisis for our city of Sioux Falls. Malnourished people can become obese, have heart disease, and suffer from type 2 diabetes. Children can suffer even more. Hunger can slow their mental and physical development. They don’t do well in school and have lower graduation rates. Hungry children often don’t reach their full potential and remain disadvantaged during adulthood. Hunger results in reduced health and that increases medical costs and expensive emergency room visits.
A short term solution for hunger is providing food access through charities and government programs like food stamps and subsidized school lunches. While these excellent programs solve critical needs, they don’t solve the whole problem. We can make food more affordable by removing the sales tax on food. City government can subsidize placing grocery stores in food deserts and thereby increase local access to healthy nutritious food at reasonable cost. Urban agriculture can provide gardeners with delightful fresh fruits and vegetables. We can support the health and welfare of Sioux Falls by investing in our citizens of all ages, sexes, income levels, and races. We improve the present and build the future. Let’s solve local hunger together.
I could tell you how many people a day read my blog, but I don’t want to embarrass myself. But I had to laugh at the irony of this image. While Mayor Poops mayoral opponent talks about food insecurity, housing, public transit and building permitting on FB and gets about 3-4 comments, Poops talks about gravy and gets almost 500 comments. He has been riding the gravy train for over 3 years.
Trust me, I noticedÂ before Covid that eating out in Sioux Falls was a crap shoot. Sometimes you get good service, poor food or poor service and good food or poor service and poor food or great service and great food. It’s always a mystery. As a person who worked in restaurants for over 20 years it is frustrating, but I also understand we all have bad days. I have often told people I was top of my game maybe 75% of the time, and when I was like that, you were lucky to have me as a server. The other 25% of the time, I feel sorry for you, because when I sucked, I really sucked (I was also mean to blue hairs, Hoots and people who prayed before they ate, commonly known as the people WHO DON’T TIP).
I have only ate indoors a handful of times since Covid hit and it wasn’t until after I recovered from my own bout with it that I decided to eat indoors. It has always been by myself and I try to sit away from folks. Trust me, I get it that it is probably not fun wearing a mask during a whole shift to wait on people, but it is your job. I have also noticed that service has gotten even worse since Covid. I think it has a little to do with less experienced younger servers who are not afraid of getting Covid working mostly during the pandemic, while the older experienced ones have decided to sit it out. There is also a whole different level of rudeness and flat out lying from servers that I have never really seen before. You know, you don’t have to lie to me, just grab your manager, which also lie to you to. Yah can’t win.
Last night I was baffled by the policies of a certain DTSF restaurant that is a small Midwest franchise. It is a popular place and the food is good for a franchise. I have ate there several times and have never had a bad plate. The service last year before Covid was always really good and the food has never been bad, until the service I received last night.
I sat at the bar to just simply have a quick burger and beer before going somewhere. While the service was ‘acceptable’ you would think I wouldn’t have to ASK every time I needed something. There were literally 4 of us sitting at the bar and 2 were together.
Service aside what was annoying is they have that stupid line on the ticket that asks for you to donate to a charity that they will give to in THEIR name. They have also added a line that asks if you will ’round up’ for the charity (another annoying trick retail is pulling during this pandemic). I always write â€˜DUMB’ on that line and write to give their own money since this takes tips away from the servers. But what really surprised me was the $.50 charge for a side of mayo that I asked for, you know, a common condiment that should be included with a cheeseburger anyway. It’s not like I was asking for garlic truffle oil aoli or guacamole, just a side of Miracle Whip.
I will say that $.50 charge probably lost you a customer.
It’s the little things!
What’s next a bubblegum machine with condiments in it that you have to pay for to dispense? Maybe a dishwashing charge if you don’t opt for wax paper and plastic forks?
While we have certainly heard the bitching and complaining about the loss of business in the local hospitality industry during Covid, maybe it’s NOT Covid, maybe it’s your p!ss poor customer service where you beg your customers to give to a charity that you take credit for while charging me for a swab of liquified egg whites. Heck, even Wendy’s and BK don’t charge for mayo on a burger!
While some say they miss eating out due to the pandemic, let me fill you in, you ain’t missing much.
So the next time you hear about a restaurant that has gone under, maybe it wasn’t Covid, maybe it had to do with a mayo famine.