By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The Morinville Community Bus makes many trips throughout the year, but even when it is parked it can be used for good purpose. The Town of Morinville Community Bus will be parked at two local grocery stores this Friday, giving residents an opportunity to give to those who are or will be in need this season.
Once again this year, the Town of Morinville will hold its annual Fill-A-Bus program, kicking off the Town’s annual Christmas Festival in a giving way.
Last year the charitable community initiative collected 7,469 pounds of non-perishable food items and roughly $810 in donations. Although last year was a record year, the Town of Morinville is looking to make that tally even greater this time around.
“Every year we try to fill the bus with non-perishable food and personal care items in aid of the Morinville Food Bank Society and the Knights of Columbus Christmas Hamper program, said Community Cultural Centre Bookings Manager and Fill-A-Bus organizer Melodie Steele, noting Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools, Morinville Public Elementary School, and Morinville Christian Fellowship School have all been invited to participate this year. “The Town does this every year because we feel it is important to support our home-grown food bank and to make sure all of our residents have an equal opportunity to have the kinds of meals on the table that provide nourishment for life. We have the bus, we have the capability, and we have the staff and the volunteers that are passionate about it.”
On Thursday, Nov. 22 the Fill-A-Bus will travel from school to school and business to business picking up donations from those who let the program know they have items and cash to give. Friday, Nov. 23 will be the day the bus parks at Sobeys and Chris and Tracie’s No Frills, there to receive donations directly from the community. The bus will start out parked at No Frills from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. and finish the day parked at Sobeys from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. People shopping at either store that day can pick up items or bring items to the bus for donation to the Morinville Food Bank and the Knights of Columbus Christmas hampers.
Steele is confident that Morinville, being a caring community, will once again step forward during the annual Christmas festival to help overflow the Town bus. “It’s so fun to watch residents and especially the children,” Steele said. “They’re happy to be giving something to the food bank and people in need, especially at Christmas time,” she said, adding Santa Claus has taken time out of his schedule to join the cause again this year. “It’s amazing to watch our community pull together especially in hard economic times and ensure no one in Morinville and surrounding area goes hungry.”
For more information on the Fill-A-Bus program contact Melodie Steele at 780-939-7839.
Above: Santa visits students during last year’s campaign to thank them for their donation. The Town of Morinville is looking to surpass the nearly 7,500 pounds collected last year. – Morinville News File Photo