The Grande Prairie Rotary club (Canada, D 5370) kicked off its yearly food bank drive for the Salvation Army Thursday at the Eastlink Centre Fieldhouse.
The annual event has sponsors pay $300 for a cart, which they race through an obstacle course, with the help of students, packing it with food donations as they go.
It’s a way of letting the public know the Rotarians will start knocking on doors Tuesday for the Salvation Army food bank.
Jerry Napier, chairman of the food bank drive, said the community’s response is always tremendous.
“The community comes together so well for this project … The generosity is just phenomenal. We’ve had cases where there’s been a pallet of food just sitting out in the driveway for us.”
The Rotarians will be going door-to-door throughout Grande Prairie, Clairmont and Sexsmith, asking for food bank donations. They hope to match the 46 tonnes they got last year.
Napier said the Salvation Army collects the food as needed to restock the foodbank, and a large portion of it goes into the Christmas hampers.
The Grande Prairie Fire Department is lending a hand this year by allowing the Rotarians to store food donations in the fire halls. People who wish to donate can drop food off at any time.
“Anybody we miss on our campaign, or anybody who lives in apartments or condos that we don’t reach, can drop their food off at any one of the three fire halls,” Napier said. “They’ll have boxes available there 24 hours a day.”
This year’s kick-off event attracted 22 sponsors, falling short of last year’s 33, which was a record. “We’ll take whatever we can,” Napier said. “We’re grateful for those who do come out and support it.”
In addition to getting the word out, the kick-off also allows the Rotary Club to order toiletries and certain food items that people often overlook when donating to food banks.
Source: Daily Herald-Tribune