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Co-ops collecting items for pantries

Northern Plains Electric and its sister cooperative Dakota Valley Electric are celebrating cooperative month by giving back.

As part of its commitment to community, Northern Plains and Dakota Valley are collecting nonperishable food items to donate to local food pantries.

“Co-op month is an opportunity for us to recognize the benefits and values co-ops bring to members and communities. A food drive is a way that we can demonstrate how much we care about the places we live and serve,” said Janelle Marcotte, one of the food drive coordinators.

The cooperatives are also pitting each headquarter office against each other. Each of the four offices, Carrington, Cando, Milnor and Edgeley, are competing to see which group can accumulate the most donations.

Despite economic advances tied to oil booms and bountiful harvests, some North Dakota families are still in need. In Foster County, for example, 25.8 percent of children participate in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program that provides school lunch to children in low-income families. The number is even higher in LaMoure County where 36.7 percent of children participate in the program, according to

“We thought a friendly competition would help generate excitement and awareness of the project,” Marcotte said. “The real winners, of course, are our local food pantries.”

Drop-off locations are set up at headquarter offices in Edgeley, Milnor, Carrington and Cando. The public is welcome to leave donations at those offices anytime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, call