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Trio launches impromptu food drive

Owners of three River Falls businesses invite the community to Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat through Monday, Nov. 2 during hours of operations at: Dish and the Spoon Café, 208 N. Main Street; Bo's 'N Mine Bar and Grill, 110 S. Main St.; and Johnnie's Bar, 116 N. Main St.

The three offer coupon incentives in conjunction with the drive, hoping to draw in more people with donations.

Dish and Spoon owners Abbie Testa and Emily Lyon-Hanson decided to organize the drive after Testa received calls from a hungry River Falls family on several Sunday afternoons in a row. The family had received all it could from the local food pantry and couldn't afford to buy groceries until the mother received her paycheck.

She took them food one night and was moved by comments and reaction the family's young son had upon receiving the fare.

Testa said a Journal article about heavy demand on the local food pantry and concerned comments from customers about how donations decrease during the holiday season also prompted the drive.

Organizers call this an inaugural event and say they hope to start planning earlier next year and involve the whole community.

A local pantry volunteer told Testa that four years ago it used to distribute 6,500 pounds of food annually. Now that number is 19,500 pounds but is still not enough to meet demand.

The three participating businesses encourage the community to drop donations of food or cash at any of their three establishments through Nov. 2.