When the state’s two-largest public universities compete on the basketball court twice this weekend in the South Dakota Showdown Series, we don’t know which teams will come out on top, but we are sure of one big winner: Feeding South Dakota.
South Dakota Corn adopted the state’s largest hunger-relief organization as a philanthropic partner when we joined with South Dakota State University (SDSU) and the University of South Dakota (USD) to launch the Showdown Series in 2012. Since then, South Dakota Corn has contributed more than $325,000 to fight hunger in the state. A substantial portion of that amount was generated through the Showdown Series.
“When USD moved up to Division I, we knew the in-state rivalry games would capture the attention of students and fans,” said Teddi Mueller, South Dakota Corn’s marketing director. “It provided a great opportunity for a new program that would start conversations about modern agriculture and food production, and support Feeding South Dakota at the same time. After all, the main mission of South Dakota farmers is to feed people, whether they are around the world or in the communities across our state.”
SDSU and the USD are competing for Summit League championships in both women’s and men’s divisions this weekend in Brookings. The women’s game will be at 2 p.m. Saturday and the men’s game at 2 p.m. Sunday. The atmosphere will be electric.
The partnership has been a win for everyone. The rivalry between the two universities has flourished. The Summit League relocated its headquarters to Sioux Falls, where the conference basketball tournament is held. The Showdown Series has brought attention to agriculture and provided an effective avenue to educate consumers. And as a result, Feeding South Dakota has received much-needed funding to reach individuals and families with their day-to-day needs.
Jennifer Stensaas, Feeding South Dakota’s marketing coordinator, provided some eye-opening facts about the organization and hunger in our state.
- Feeding South Dakota provides emergency food assistance to nearly 100,000 people each year in South Dakota.
- 1 in 9 South Dakotans are going hungry each year.
- In the 2019 fiscal year, the organization distributed nearly 15.4 million pounds of food, which provided 12.8 million meals.
Donations to Feeding South Dakota will be collected during this weekend’s games.
As most of you know, the Showdown Series tracks head-to-head matchups and conference championship results in 16 sports with each school accumulating points toward the overall series championship. The Series also recognizes outstanding academic achievement by the schools’ student-athletes.
Fans can visit www.sdcornshowdown.com, www.gojacks.com or www.goyotes.com to track progress and see point totals throughout the year. Jackrabbit Sports Properties and Coyote Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holders for SDSU and USD athletics, spearheaded the initiative between the athletic departments and South Dakota Corn.
To learn more about Feeding South Dakota, visit https://feedingsouthdakota.org/.