A food hub is needed to provide meals to struggling families in Murray Bridge and surrounds, non-profit organisation Foodbank SA says.
Together with Housing SA and the Rotary Clubs of Murray Bridge, Mobilong and Tailem Bend, it has launched a drive to raise $100,000 for the purpose - and it is already more than halfway there.
As well as offering food to those who most need it, the hub would give advice on meal preparation and budgeting.
Its paid manager and volunteers would also work closely with other service providers and schools to tackle the issue of food insecurity in the Murraylands.
Chief executive officer Greg Pattinson said the hub would allow Foodbank to distribute food more directly to the people who needed it.
"It's basically like a small supermarket where charities refer clients and they can go and shop for themselves," he said.
"It gives (clients) choice and gives them a lot more dignity.
"They're not getting a hand-out, they're getting an opportunity to make decisions themselves about the food they have."
He expected several dozen families would visit the food hub each day, based on Foodbank's experience at the six other hubs it operated around South Australia and the pockets of unemployment which existed in Murray Bridge.
Hundreds of people attended a local pop-up market Foodbank SA ran for a single day in 2018.
Mr Pattinson did not expect the food hub's opening would harm local supermarkets, as Foodbank clients typically continued to shop around for other products.
In fact, he said, it would give retailers somewhere to send any surplus stock.
All that remained was for Foodbank to find a site, fit it out and fill its shelves with food.
If the fundraising drive reaches its goal by April 30, Foodbank will recruit a manager, set up a project team and sign a lease with hopes of opening the hub three to four months after that.
Donations of more than $2 towards the fundraising drive are tax deductible.
Foodbank provided more than 5.6 million meals per month to more than 126,000 South Australians, more than a third of whom were children, in 2018-19.