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SD hunger relief organization raising $6 million

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The Feeding South Dakota hunger relief organization announced Friday it is launching a $6 million statewide capital campaign to boost facilities and services.

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The organization is trying to reach a goal of providing 16 million meals a year by 2020 — an annual increase of about 5 million from the number of meals it currently provides statewide.

Feeding South Dakota wants larger and more efficient facilities in Rapid City, Pierre and Sioux Falls. A $500,000 matching grant from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation is being used for the Rapid City facility, which was purchased early this year and opened in February.

The organization wants to raise $2 million to support the Rapid City facility, $1 million to expand its facility in Pierre and $3 million for a new facility in Sioux Falls that would combine two existing facilities. Officials said they also are working to grow Feeding South Dakota's mobile distribution, school and volunteer programs.

"We must find a way to help our fellow citizens — our neighbors and friends — who feel the daily pains of an empty stomach," businessman Larry Riddle, who serves as chairman of the Rapid City portion of the campaign, said in a statement. "It will make them healthier and stronger, and make the community in which we live and work stronger, too."