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Perhaps now more than ever, assistance from community-driven programs are needed in communities like Dell Rapids. Luckily for residents in need, the city has several food pantries for free groceries or other household necessities.

The Storehouse Community Food Pantry, Daily Bread Food Pantry and The Breadbox all support a different need in Dell Rapids. Last year, Heavenly Hearts on the Highway joined the Dell Rapids food pantry fight as an independent provider not associated with a specific church in Dells.

Kara Kubik and June Decker of Heavenly Hearts recently continued their outreach by starting the Baltic Bread Bin. The Bread Bin meets every Sunday at the American Legion Post 175 building, where they have food donated from Hy-Vee food stores in Sioux Falls.

The Bread Bin joins the effort in Baltic already established by the Bargain Basement Thrift Store and the Baltic Food Bank.

The Bargain Basement Thrift Store will celebrate its four-year anniversary in July. Ryan and Sallie Franchuk opened Christ Fellowship Church in Baltic, which has since been absorbed into River Community Church in Dells, where Ryan is now a pastor. Sallie still manages the thrift store and is employed by River Community Church.

The thrift store is usually open five days a week, but has been closed recently because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Sallie Franchuk said they hope to reopen in June. Despite the store being closed, Franchuk said she’s still been busy as the need has been ramped up due to the coronavirus.

“I’ve been running back and forth to the store anywhere from one to four times a day because people have been contacting me about someone who might be in need,” she said. “The need is still there.”

Franchuk also said the donations come into Baltic at a rapid pace. There is so much, she said, that the thrift store can’t use it all. Any clothing or shoes that can’t be used in Baltic are picked up by Iowa-based Justice for All, a ministry that distributes donated items around the world.

“We’re just blown away by the donations,” Franchuk said. “Everything that gets donated here gets used. It never goes in the garbage.”

Along with household items and food, the thrift store also has bread available every Monday. They work closely with the Baltic Bread Box, which is housed in the old elementary school across the street on St. Olaf Avenue. The Bread Box partnered with Ignite Life Church in Dell Rapids and is open two days per week but are on-call at all times.

“We’re all in it to help the people who need it, and get resources to the people who need it,” Franchuk said of the partnership between the Baltic and Dell Rapids pantries. “We refer people to the food bank, the food bank will refer to us, we do the same with the resources in Dell Rapids. We’re happy to share things back and forth.”

Although Heavenly Hearts works independently from the structure the churches provide, Kubik said there is nothing better than being able to provide food for those in need.

Heavenly Hearts delivers food or any other household items to homes in both Baltic and Dell Rapids.

“When you’re taking food to people and you’ve got a little kid who’s happy because they see you bringing goodies to them, there’s nothing better,” Kubik said. “It’s always been my dream to do this. If I could build a shelter, I would.”

The Bargain Basement Thrift Store is open Monday and Tuesday from 2:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 1:30-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon. The Baltic Bread Box is open the second Wednesday of each month from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and the fourth Saturday of each month from 10:30-11:30 a.m..

The Baltic Bread Bin, which is run by Heavenly Hearts of the Highway, is open every Sunday at the American Legion building from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

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