PANHANDLE, Fla. (WMBB)–The Florida Highway Patrol delivered nonperishable food items to Bay, Jackson, and Calhoun counties on Thursday.

“When we’re able to give to the community with no strings attached, it just brings so much joy to our lives,” said Lieutenant Jason King. “It’s just an exciting time to get out here and sweat together and work hard, loading these cars, delivering food.”

Local grocery stores and area businesses worked together by donating food boxes through the Florida Highway Patrol’s annual ‘Stuff the Charger’ fundraiser. Calhoun-Liberty Employees Credit Union was one of the many who donated a trailer full of food.

“We want to make sure that by giving back to the food bank, they can give back to the people in need in our communities, and everyone can have what they need for the holiday season,” said Marketing Director Claude McGill at Calhoun- Liberty Employee Credit Union.

The food boxes were then dropped off at the Bay County Council on Aging, Innovative Charities, and Helping Hand.

Innovative Charities in Northwest Florida Director Robert Arnold said food donations are more important this year than ever.

“We’ve had a lot of people needing food,” said Arnold. “You know, you can’t have this rate of inflation without people without it eating into their budgets.”

The Florida Highway Patrol started its food drive in early November. They raised about 63,000 pounds worth of food donations for the district extending between Pensacola and Panama City.

“We’re grateful. We have a lot of people here in this community that we serve daily with a small pantry,” said Helping Hands Manger Joni Ridley. “This will go on, take and go towards a whole lot of homes this Christmas season.”

Innovative Charities in Jackson County is located at 1994 Hwy 71 South Marianna, FL, and hands out food every Wednesday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm CST.

Innovative Charities in Calhoun County is located at 121122 Hwy 20 West Clarksville, FL, and hands out food every Thursday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am CST.

Innovative Charities in Liberty County is located at 12390 NW Central Ave Bristol, FL, and hands out food on the second and fourth Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm EST.

If you want to sign up for Innovative Charities or want more information, click here.

If you want more information Bay County Council of aging, click here.