2012 Walmart Good Neighbor Food Drive is this weekend

The third annual Good Neighbor Food Drive will take place this Saturday and Sunday at the Spearfish Walmart store -- and at Walmart stores across South Dakota.  It's part of a national event for Walmart stores to collect products that are in high demand for local food pantries.

Last year 26,277 pounds of food were collected across South Dakota from the 12 participating Walmart stores, providing nearly 22,000 meals to individuals in need. This year, 13 stores will be participating in the event. Food drive collection bins will be located in the entry ways of the stores. Stores will also be providing prepackaged and pre-priced bags of assorted food items that customers can pick up as they are checking out at the store. 

Spearfish Community Food Pantry president Karen Miller said "All of the local food items collected at the Spearfish Walmart will go to help our needy neighbors in the Spearfish and St. Onge communities."Jim Dawson, who is Eastern Operations Manager of Feeding South Dakota said “Food drives like this one help to ensure that our pantry shelves are full throughout the year.”   

The need for food assistance continues to exist in every community across South Dakota, no matter how rich or poor. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual study measuring food security in the United States, 12.7 percent of households throughout the state were identified as food insecure during the three-year period between 2009 and 2011. The level, the highest on record for the state, reflects a 2.4 percentage-point increase from 2006-08. Last year, Feeding South Dakota provided an estimated 100,000 individuals with emergency food assistance through its network of over 450 nonprofit agencies