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 annual Fill-A-Bus program kicks off the Town’s annual Christmas Festival in a giving way.
Last year, the charitable community initiative collected 7,032 pounds of non-perishable food items and roughly $2,610 in cash donations. Although last year was shy of the record set in 2011, organizers are looking to make the tally a great one for the food bank.
“As in every year, hunger never ends,” said Town of Morinville employee and event organizer Melodie Steele. “There’s always a need in Morinville and surrounding region that the food bank serves. This is their big time of year with the highest need. With the weather getting worse, it is harder to make ends meet, so people do rely on the food bank regularly.”
Residents, schools and businesses will have two days to help out the cause. On Thursday, Nov. 28 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. 29 will be the day the bus parks at Sobeys and Chris and Tracy’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 Morinville, being a caring community, will once again step forward during the annual Christmas festival to help overflow the Town bus. “This event helps stock their shelves for a fairly significant period of time,” she said, adding 2013 is her fourth year organizing the event. “This is my heart and soul. This is my one event every year that tugs at my heartstrings. It’s amazing to watch the community come together and support the Food Bank in such a major way each year. Honestly, it is the most fun two work days of my entire work year.”
Organizers are currently looking for volunteers to assist with offloading the food donations at the Morinville Food Bank Thursday and Friday evening. For more information on volunteering with the Fill-A-Bus program contact Melodie Steele at 780-939-7840.