Anderson & Koch Ford in North Branch is hosting a “Stuff a Truck” food drive running through Nov. 21. For every vehicle sold, the company will donate 150 pounds of food and other collections to Family Pathways and A Place for You to help the community cope during the economic stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured are Bailey Webber, sales and leasing; and Donna Hubbard, internet sales support. Photo by Sarv Mithaqiyan

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Anderson & Koch Ford in North Branch is hosting a “Stuff a Truck” food drive that’s running through Nov. 21.

Sales manager Patrick Fossum said this is the first time the company has decided to collect food and other essential items for people in need. For each vehicle purchased — any make, model, new or used — Anderson & Koch Ford will donate 150 pounds of food to Family Pathways in North Branch and A Place for You in Pine City.

A Place for You is a transitional shelter in Pine City that supplies basic needs for people who are homeless, and Family Pathways’ support services provide healthy food access, domestic and sexual violence prevention and victim services and other programs.

“With things being a little bit different, with holidays coming up, (we wanted) to do something for the community,” Fossum said. “This is going to be a weird year for a lot of folks. The agencies we’re helping out have been in high demand with higher unemployment. So (this is) just one of the things that we could do to help out the community.”

Internet sales support Donna Hubbard said Anderson & Koch Ford welcomes anyone who’d like to contribute to the event to do so. The type of items that are being collected are nonperishable foods, personal care and hygiene items, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, in addition to monetary donations, Hubbard said.

The items will be donated in areas such as North Branch, Harris, Stacy, Rush City and Pine City, Hubbard said.

“Our goal is to be able to provide food and essential needs for those people that are in need this year,” Hubbard said.

There’s always a need at the food shelf and a need to help out the community, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing unemployment rate and economic uncertainty, Fossum said.

“(We are) proud to be part of the part of the community here … and serving our local area,” Fossum said. “This is a third-generation store. We’ve been here for a really long time. (I) really appreciate how well the area is taking care of this store. So we just want to give a little bit back, especially this time of the year — when things have been a little tougher.”

Following the event’s end on Nov. 21, Hubbard said all the collection of food and other items will be donated to Family Pathways and A Place for You by Nov. 24 or Nov. 25.

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