As part of the Cooperative Month Can & Coat Drive, Dakota Valley and Northern Plains Electric cooperatives collected, laundered and donated winter apparel to benefit local families in need. The co-ops also gathered nonperishable food items to donate to local food pantries. The drive is part of the co-ops’ efforts to demonstrate commitment to community.

“There’s a need for this out there,” said Bruce Garber, general manager of Northern Plains and Dakota Valley. “There are many, many people lacking good winter coats.”

Students at Pingree-Buchanan, Montpelier and Edgeley understand that need. Students there organized school-wide drives to collect winter apparel and nonperishable food items. The Pingree-Buchanan and Montpelier students also helped launder the winter apparel before it was distributed.

Five volunteers from ServeYES! also helped wash coats one day.

The co-ops donated the winter apparel items to the Oakes Tornado Watch program, Wahpeton Optimists, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in Belcourt, N.D., and Spirit Lake Nation in Devils Lake. The co-ops donated the nonperishable food items to food pantries in Towner, Foster, LaMoure, Sargent and Stutsman counties.

For more information on the Cooperative Month Can & Coat Drive, call (800) 342-4671 or (800) 882-2500.

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