Members of the Georges H. Primeau Me-to-We group brave the sub-zero temperatures Friday night to assist in unloading the Town of Morinville’s community bus after a day of collecting food for the Morinville Food Bank Society.
-Lucie Roy Photo
by Morinville News Staff
Bad weather and a decline in school participation contributed to a less than record year for the annual Fill-a-Bus event Thursday and Friday. After a day-one total of 1874 pounds was collected for the Morinville Food Bank Society Thursday afternoon, a foot of snow and plummeting temperatures kept many people at home instead of helping the cause on Friday. Friday’s stops at No Frills and Sobeys Morinville generated another 1672 pounds, bringing the two-day total to 3546 pounds, an amount less than half of 2013’s total of 7,255 pounds of food and household items.
Though the amount carted off the bus and into the Food Bank by more than a dozen Georges H. Primeau Me-to-We group members and other volunteers took less time than any year since the program began, organizers were not overly discouraged by the results of the campaign.
“We were unfortunate that we had a significant snowstorm over the course of the fill-a-bus campaign, but I’m not surprised that regardless of the snow storm we still had plenty of folks coming out to support this very important initiative that happens every year,” said organizer Melodie Steele.
There was also no frown on Food Bank Society member Ken Skjersven face Friday night as he placed the unloaded food. “It’s great. It’s less than last year, but that’s OK. It’s not a problem,” he said, adding people can still assist by visiting the Food Bank on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to drop off donations or phoning 780-915-0372 to arrange an alternate time.
But while the poundage of non-perishables weighed less than the norm, once again this year, Champion Petfoods donated an entire pallet of pet food weighing more than 2000 pounds. Additionally, cash donations tallied $4,478 by end of day Friday, far exceeding the $3,231 collected in 2013. In addition to the $10, $20 and $50 bills dropped in the cash box, Spiker Equipment donated $3,000 to the cause and $500 donations were received from Rooke School of Karate and the Morinville Firefighters Foundation. The Rotary Club also made a $500 donation to the Knights of Columbus for their food hamper program. Scotia Bank’s Morinville Branch has also made a commitment to match all cash donations on a dollar-for-dollar basis to a total of $5,000. The doubling will create $10,000 for the Food Bank Society, which will go a long way towards covering their expenses and providing necessities for local families in need.
Steele said the Food Bank will get an additional boost this year from the three schools that did not participate in this year’s fill-a-bus as they are each doing their own campaigns. “The Food Bank will still get fairly full for the Christmas season,” she said.
Champion Petfoods staff drop off a pallet of pet food weighing some 2000 pounds Friday morning at No Frills.
Knights of Columbus Food Hamper Coordinator Henry Lamoureux accepted a $500 donation cheque for the Christmas Hamper Program from Rotarian Monty Johnson. The presentation was made Friday afternoon at the Fill-A-Bus location in front of Sobeys. – Lucie Roy Photos