First responders drove door-to-door collecting donations for the Salvation Army Food Bank. Photos by Paige Mueller/The Free Press

First responders drove door-to-door collecting donations for the Salvation Army Food Bank. Photos by Paige Mueller/The Free Press

First responders host holiday food drive

Frozen fingers knocked on doors around Fernie on Wednesday evening as part of the Holiday Food Drive.

The flashing lights of ambulances could be seen reflecting off windows in the frosty air as volunteers went door-to-door carrying boxes and collecting non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army Food Bank. The ambulances were followed by a fleet of trucks and vans which were quickly filled with boxes of food collected from generous Fernie residents.

BC Ambulance Service, Fernie Fire Rescue, Fernie Cadets, Mountainside Community Group, international exchange students and other volunteers joined forces to restock the shelves of the Salvation Army Food Bank in time for the holidays.

“Generally at this time of year, food bank shelves are depleted and ours were getting that way,” said Major Kirk Green from the Salvation Army. “This just gives us this added boost.”

Despite the frigid temperatures, volunteers were able to collect 5000 lb. of food in only one night.

“We’re preparing for Christmas and so the efforts are going there,” Green explained. “Just because we are preparing for Christmas doesn’t mean that the food bank need goes away.”

In fact, Green noted that the need is holding pretty steady in the Fernie area. “We really appreciate what they did last night because it’s going to allow us to keep serving.”

Between the cost of housing and the cost of food in the area, Green understands why people need to make use of the food bank. He notes that the prices of necessities haven’t gone down which puts “pressure on families and especially low-income.”

In an average month, the food bank provides hampers to roughly 60 people in the community so Wednesday night’s food drive will make a considerable impact this holiday season.

“Thank you to everyone that volunteered, everyone that donated,” Green added. “It was spectacular. We could not be more pleased.”

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Volunteer Shauna Van Wijk holds a box of donated food.

Volunteer Shauna Van Wijk holds a box of donated food.

Sarah Barden and Jenna Dies were two volunteers for the holiday food drive.

Sarah Barden and Jenna Dies were two volunteers for the holiday food drive.

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