Rapid City closures grow food desert for American Indians, working poor

Grand Rapids, Mich., based SpartanNash has announced October closings for three food stores two of which serve Rapid City's American Indian community. The westside Family Thrift has served the white working poor.

Dan's Supermarket near the intersection of Omaha and Fifth closed about ten years ago.

Ben Snow, president of the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, said the closures leave a "black hole" for North Rapid and downtown.
Childhood obesity continues to be a public health issue in the U.S. Research prior to this study demonstrated that children living on food deserts (FD) had greater weight statuses than children who did not live on FDs. Based on U.S. Department of Agriculture classification, almost half of the state of South Dakota is classified as a food desert, and childhood obesity continues to be an issue in the state. [The Effects of Food Deserts on the Weight Status of South Dakota Children]
A 2015 Feeding America survey revealed at least 105,880 people in South Dakota are food insecure. It's worst in Oglala Lakota County where rates are at 27.5 percent. 18 percent of children suffer food insecurity in the red moocher state, four percent higher than the national average.

Rapid City's mayor, Steve Allender, managed "a bunch of racists" before winning another GOP-glutted seat. Allender has been at a loss to house the 100 or so homeless people in Rapid City. He's even asked the Cornerstone Rescue Mission, a front for the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, to help.

And what is Allender up to these days? He's preening a golf course and raising money for reelection.

After the 1972 Flood that wiped out Teepee Town and killed some 238 people, mostly poor American Indians, the feds gave Rapid City rent supports to house those displaced by the disaster. Under ethics-free Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard homelessness in South Dakota has become epidemic.

NPR is reporting this morning that raising tobacco taxes leads more people to food stamps and some households spend thirty percent of their incomes on cigarettes.

Mario Gonzales brought viewers of Oyate Today up to speed on the Black Hills Land Claim.

Hey, Rapid City: give these people without places to live $1000 vouchers so they can flee South Dakota and its brutal winters or put them on Medicaid.

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