A Maple Ridge car dealership’s seventh annual food bank fundraiser “Operation 100” couldn’t have come at a better time.
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing widespread layoffs and slashed revenues for businesses closed to curb virus spread, Maple Ridge Hyundai aims to raise $10,000 for the growing number of local homes receiving help from Friends In Need Food Bank.
In April and March alone, 110 households were added to its food assistance services, said executive director Mary Robson.
Now, for every car that the Kot Auto Group location sells $100 will be donated to the food bank, which exists to feed families in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
Operation 100’s past six years saw the dealership donate $30,000 to Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation, explained president of the auto group, Jon Kot.
Kot also manages four other dealerships: Kelowna Hyundai, Buy Direct Truck Centre, Kelowna Kia and Penticton Nissan.
This year’s shift in local giving was brought on by the economic fallout of COVID-19 outbreaks in community, he noted.
“Being a business owner, I am aware of the hardship going on in the world, especially to those losing or being laid off” from their jobs.
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The dealership’s goal is to stay afloat as a business by selling 100 vehicles within the month of May, and donating $10,000.
Cars, trucks, and SUVS have been marked down – at the 23213 Lougheed Hwy. location – to help make vehicles more accessible for purchase, Kot said, and help the business reach their giving target.
In 2016, Kot Auto Group dealerships in B.C. reportedly donated over $50,000 to various organizations in their given communities.
This is a direct result of every December, Kot employees being given $500 from the auto group, to donate to the charity of their choosing.
As a non-profit, charitable organization, the Friends in Need Food Bank is able to operate only due to donations of money and food.
Those interested in supporting the food bank, which is a registered member of Food Banks BC and Canada, can visit canadahelps.org.
Anyone in need of food assistance are encouraged to contact Friends in Need at 604-460-4619 in Pitt Meadows and 604-466-3663 ext. 206 in Maple Ridge.