La Crescent bank collecting donations for food banks during Applefest

Applefest is this weekend in La Crescent, and a bank in the community is once again doing what it can to take the opportunity to help the hungry.

Merchants Bank is holding its “Food Explosion” campaign to benefit area food pantries in the week leading up to the fest.

People can bring non-perishable food items to the bank ahead of Sunday’s parade, or bring them to the parade itself, where bank officials will collect donations along the route.

They’ll also be accepting monetary donations for the second straight year.

“People are realizing, oh, I forgot to bring something and now they just give us a dollar, and it really gives a chance for the food shelf to be able to go out and get the things they really need,” said Gary Beardmore of Merchants Bank. “You know, as we all give non-perishables, there’s always a lot of other items that we never really think of for the food shelves.”

This is the 8th year Merchants Bank has collected donations as part of its “Food Explosion.”

Last year they raised $4000 in cash, in addition to the usual food items.