Volunteers at the Sparwood Food Bank take in donations.

Sparwood’s food drive to go ahead as drive-in this year

Ed Ehrler of the SAR said it was more important than ever to fill the food bank to the roof

Sparwood’s Emergency Services will be going ahead with a “Drive-in” Food Drive this year on Sunday, Dec. 6 to collect non-perishable food or cash donations in support of the Sparwood Food Bank.

Search and rescue manager with Sparwood SAR, Ed Ehrler said that the food drive was invaluable to the community, and the pandemic made it impossible to have a traditional door-to-door food drive. “It brings in literal truckloads of food every year, filling the Food Bank to the roof and the donations we bring in help keep them stocked for months to come … with COVID-19 causing economic hardships and job losses this year I think Food Banks are an even more vital service now than ever,” he said, explaining the successful Sparwood Fire and Rescue drive-through event was the inspiration to change up how the food drive was carried out in 2020 to make sure it was safe.

“We decided this was going to be our best and safest option to pull it off.”

Sparwood’s emergency services will be setting up three drop-off locations around town in coming weeks, with one at the Greenwood Mall at the RBC entrance, at Fire Station 1 at 479 Pinewood Ave, and at Fire Station 2 at Ponderosa Drive.

“Emergency vehicles and personnel will be on location to help guide people in, with signage and traffic markings to ensure a smooth flow of one-way traffic,” said Ehrler.

Drop-off locations will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and to avoid causing any traffic problems people are encouraged to come at random times through the evening.

“If there’s a long line-up of vehicles at one location people are encouraged to try one of the others, or take advantage of the opportunity for a drive to check out some of the excellent decorations around town and come back a bit later,” said Ehrler.

In over 10 years of being part of the food drive, Ehrler said that he was regularly blown away by how generous and caring Sparwood could be. “People here genuinely look forward to opportunities like this where they can help one another, and every fall people are calling me and stopping me in the street to ask when the food drive will be and make sure we have all the help we need. I’m really looking forward to seeing our community rally again and make the food drive a big success in spite of the pandemic.”

Ehrler gave a shout-out to the Elk Valley Air Cadets who he said were the “unsung heroes of the food drive for years. “With having to minimize the number of volunteers we bring out this year it just wasn’t possible for us to have them come out with us this time, which is unfortunate because they’re a great group of young volunteers and community leaders. I really hope that by this time next year we’ll be back to the door-to-door Food Drive that we really love, and can have the Cadets along with us again.”

More details on the food drive are available at the ‘Sparwood Drive-in Food Drive 2020’ event on Facebook, and those hoping to donate that have any questions, or would like to organize a pick-up of donated items if they don’t have their own vehicle can contact fooddrive@sparwoodsar.org for more details on the food drive.

READ MORE: Mall decorations up in time for the snow

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