By collecting food, the local Sears store says it is helping both the community and its customers’ pocketbooks.

“This is a really good thing for the community that the entire Sears company is doing,” Athens Sears owner Laurie Johnson said.

Sears stores around the U.S. are sponsoring food drives to benefit their local food pantries.

“It looks like we are going to have a better outcome this year than we did last year,” Johnson said. “Plus, when people donate to the food drive they will receive coupons for discounts on their purchases.”

Customers are encouraged to drop non-perishable canned and boxed food items as well as other needed products, such as diapers, paper towels, handy wipes and latex gloves in the donation boxes located at the store.

Johnson said the store originally had a dishwasher box, but that was filled and now a freezer box is halfway full.

“We already have over 500 cans of food, and the drive doesn’t end until Dec. 31,” she said. “I just don’t want people to forget about it after Christmas, because we should be able to not only help the Food Pantry during the holidays, but also help restock as well.”

She added that she wants the community to know that Sears is “highly appreciative for all the community has done.”

“This is a way to give a little,” Johnson said, “and save a lot.”

To donate items to the food drive go to store at 1111 E. Tyler Street in Athens.

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