by Colin Smith
The annual Fill-A-Bus campaign in support of the Morinville Food Bank will once be taking place during Christmas festival week, on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 27 and 28.
A partnership between Morinville Community Services and the Morinville Food Bank Society, what was originally a one-day event has been put on for more than five years.
The goal is to fill the Town of Morinville’s community bus with as many items for the food bank as possible, said organizer Melodie Steele, facility-booking coordinator for the Morinville Community Cultural Centre.
“On Thursday the bus goes from school to school and from business to business collecting non-perishable food items and personal care items,” she said.
Once filled, the bus is weighed, the items are unloaded at the Morinville Food Bank and then it goes out again.
The next day, the bus will stop at two Morinville grocery stores. It will be on location from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at No Frills and then from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Sobeys. Santa Claus will also be in attendance.
“Residents who are going to the grocery store anyway will have the opportunity to help fill the shelves of the Morinville Food Bank,” said Steele.
Last year’s Fill-A-Bus event took in 7,255 pounds of food items, along with cash donations of $3,231 for the food bank from businesses and residents.
In addition, Champion PetFoods donated a whole pallet-load of bags of pet food weighing in at 2,930 pounds.
“It’s nice for the food bank to be able to provide food for pets. They are obviously the first to go without if families are having trouble making ends meet,” said Steele.
The record for the event was set in 2011, when 7,469 pounds of food were collected.
Steele would like to see that record surpassed with this year’s Fill-A-Bus to ensure enough food is donated to meet the food bank’s requirements through the Christmas season and well into the new year.
“Families in need happen all year long,” Steele pointed out. “There are always people who find they may need a little extra.”
The goal is to put as much as possible on the food bank’s shelves to meet those needs.
A portion of the donated food is shared with the Knights of Columbus to help them make up their Christmas hampers. Members of the organization help out by volunteering with a Fill-A-Bus.
That’s something other members of the community can do as well.
“If anyone’s interested we’re always looking for cheerful, helpful volunteers,” said Steele.
For further information call 780-939-7840.