The Spearfish Community Food Pantry provided food service assistance to an average of 280 families per month, approximately 700 people, 250 of who are children, during 2017.
The pantry, located at 131 Yankee St. in Spearfish, recently submitted it's annual report to the city of Spearfish. The report details that more than 100 individuals representing 13 churches in the Spearfish and St. Onge communities volunteered their time to provide their assistance to the more than 798 different families who utilized the pantry at least one time during 2017.
"The specific purpose of the Pantry is to provide nutritional families in the Spearfish and St. Onge communities who identify themselves as in need of food to feed themselves and their families, with no income determination required," the report describes.
The largest food contributor through the Feeding South Dakota program to the pantry is the Spearfish Walmart, and in 2017, Walmart contributed 59,260 pounds of food, including fresh produce, bakery items meat and essential dry goods. Volunteers from the pantry pick up food every Tuesday and Friday morning at Walmart.
"Your local food Pantry also relies heavily on food donations from the general public and organized food drives," the report states. The U.S. Postal Service and Boy Scouts of American food drives, are two of the most recognized food drives in the area, supplied the pantry with 10,000 pounds of food. "Individual donations by the general public and additional food drives by Black Hills RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), local banks, realtors, churches, schools, and public service clubs also contribute to the local need," the report states. "These donations totaled 28,700 pounds of food.
The pantry also purchases food items using financial donations from organizations and individuals. Weekly food purchases from Feeding South Dakota quarters in Rapid City, as well as regional grocery stores, help the food pantry "to maintain an effective and organized facility that continues to meet the needs of our clients, "the report describes. "On an average the Pantry purchases $3,860 of food each month in 2017.
"The Board of Directors want to thank the City of Spearfish for their continued support and use of the excellent facility utilized by the Pantry," the report concludes. "With an average of 25 new families arriving each month at the Pantry in need of assistance we believe 2018 will again be a challenge for our volunteers."
The food pantry utilizes a space within the Spearfish Rec Center. For more information call the pantry at 642-0940.
By Kaija Swisher
Black Hills Pioneer - Spearfish