The Last Mile | South Dakota Community Foundation

The Last Mile

September 2, 2021 // South Dakota Fund Grants

Screenshot, top row, L to R: Jeri Baker, Executive Director, One Spirit; Ginger Niemann, Senior Program Officer, SDCF; Will Pierson, Development Director, One Spirit Screenshot, bottom row L to R: Matt Stoops, Business Manager, One Spirit; Charles (Bamm) Brewer, Director, Bring Back the Buffalo Program and Manager, Charging Buffalo House and Cinnamon Starr Cuny, Lakota Programs Manager, One Spirit

This grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation makes it possible for the Lakota people to access food along with an assurance that we really do take care of each other.

Jeri Baker, Director, One Spirit

One Spirit is a collective of Oglala Lakota and volunteers from around the globe, working hand in hand for the Oglala Lakota Reservation community. They provide support for the Lakota community through resources that meet the needs of the people according to their own culture, traditions, and values.

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) provided a $20,000 Coronavirus Response Fund grant to One Spirit. This grant provided support for their “last mile” delivery of food and household supplies. A team received bulk supplies from multiple sources and performed the “last mile” delivery. In addition to families, deliveries were also made to 501c (3) shelters and to community kitchens. Other partners supporting this effort included the Tribal Council, Buche Foods, Feeding South Dakota, the John T. Vucurevich Foundation, and others.

“This grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation makes it possible for the Lakota people to access food along with an assurance that we really do take care of each other”, stated Jeri Baker, Director, One Spirit. “One Spirit provides food to families, elders, and children on all areas of the Reservation. The process of being able to distribute that food begins with caring people like those who make up the South Dakota Community Foundation”.

“The pandemic highlighted the food insecurity that exists in nearly all rural and geographically isolated communities”, said Ginger Niemann, Senior Program Officer, SDCF. “Most reservations exist in food deserts. Grocery stores for some communities may be an hour or more away. We were proud to partner with One Spirit to help alleviate hunger during an already trying time”.

In the early spring of 2020 through May 2021, the South Dakota Fund Grant program along with the Community Innovation Grant (CIG) program, in partnership with the Bush Foundation, were reprioritized to focus solely on the Coronavirus and its impact on our state. Grants were distributed to charitable and nonprofit organizations across South Dakota.

To learn more about funding opportunities offered by the SDCF, please visit our website at

About the SDCF

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers over 1050 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $18 million in grants in 2020 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.