Havre Daily News - News you can use

Walmart food drive filling up boxes and stomachs

 

November 30, 2018

Havre Daily News/Ryan Berry

Kathy Albright, left, and Doug Heltne work together Thursday to fill an order at the Havre Food Bank. Havre's Walmart is helping the food bank with a program in which people shopping in Walmart can buy products for the organization the last 10 days of each month.

The Havre Walmart Supercenter has been chipping in for the past two months to help the local food bank provide food for those in need.

"It has been a significant help," Havre Food Bank Director Sam Nimmick said. "We really appreciate it. It's keeping our boxes full and our clients stomachs full."

She said that they are hoping to do the Walmart food drive the last 10 days of every month. She and Walmart Store Manager Kasey Dietz have been working together over the past couple of months, she said, to determine what the food bank needs and what Walmart can do.

Dietz reached out to her, she added, saying that he wants to get Walmart more involved with the public and with serving the community.

"I thought it was a great idea, and we were happy to be able to work with them," Nimmick said.

Dietz said Walmart is only a vehicle to provide the food to the food bank and the community members are the ones who deserve a big thank you for making the food drive possible. He added that he is happy to get the Havre store involved.

For the past two months the food drive has been a success, Dietz said. Last month, the drive was for canned green beans and corn, with approximately 2,500 cans purchased for the food bank, he said. This month, he said, they are collecting 12-pack packages of ramen. So far this month they have collected approximately 600 packages, he said.

"That's a lot of ramen," Dietz said.

He added that Walmart will continue the monthly food drives as long as the community supports the drive.

In the front of the store, behind the cash registers, people can find a large display of the food that the food bank has selected for that month, Dietz said. He said the customer buys the product for the food bank and Walmart transfers the sale over so the food bank receives the product.

The cashiers will ask people if they want to donate when they are going through the checkouts, he said.

Walmart has done different drives at different times since the store opened in Havre, Dietz said, but a drive this size and on a monthly basis is something new.

"We want to be involved with the community because without the community we wouldn't be here," Dietz said.

Havre Daily News/Ryan Berry

Sam Nimmick pushes a cart around the Havre Food Bank while stocking shelves with a donation Thursday, November 29, 2018 in Havre, Mont. Nimmick is the director of the food bank, and the second most tenured person there.

He added that Walmart has also been involved with the Helping Haven, Salvation Army and a variety of other programs.

One program coming up, Dietz said, is the Shop with a Cop event, where kids get to go Christmas shopping with Havre police officers. Dietz added that Walmart awards a grant for this program and he is excited to have it this year.

"It gives back to the community," he said.

The food drive is very important for a community, he said, adding that many people use the food bank including some Walmart employees.

"The (District 4 Human Resources Development Council) does a good job with the food bank," Dietz said. "It's a very clean facility and the work that Sam is doing is great. ... Anything we can do to help, let me know."

"We just really appreciate Walmart working with us and all the donations we get from them," Nimmick said. "We'd love to thank the public for making these purchases so we can receive these donations."

 

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