The North Bay Fire Department is carrying on its annual tradition to support the North Bay Food Bank.
From 10 am to 6 pm today (Oct. 7), donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted outside of Parkers Independent Grocer with the goal of collecting enough food to fill a firetruck.
Debbie Marson, Executive Director of the food bank says that she’s appreciative of the continued partnership with the fire department.
“When the fire department stepped up and said they wanted to continue doing this annual tradition and knowing that we have COVID protocols that we have to adhere to and they’ve figured it out and reinvented it – it’s amazing. We can’t thank the community and fire department enough for doing this,” Marson said at the beginning of the event on Wednesday.
Chris Nichol, Fire Prevention Officer with the North Bay Fire Department is confident that the community support will continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“North Bay has been very good for this fundraiser. In the years that we’ve done this, they’ve always come up huge around these times and right now, I’m expecting it to be just as good as last year, or better,” Nichol said.
With the apparent second wave of COVID-19 beginning in Ontario and the winter season approaching, Marson says that the community support is still imperative to the food bank.
“We’re still seeing new faces every client session,” Marson noted. “We don’t know what things are going to look like; we don’t know what tomorrow holds when it comes to COVID or what new protocols are going to come forward. So we’re trying to get ready to service everybody so nobody goes without food heading into this Thanksgiving and holiday season.”
Despite still seeing new faces, Marson says that the food bank has still been able to adequately service all its clients.
“We want to be able to sustain the food levels that we have month-to-month to make sure we can provide. Right now, the community has been so generous with their donations that we’ve been able to provide a little bit more than we usually would at this time of year,” Marson explained.
As for what can be donated, any non-perishable food items are welcome, along with gift cards, feminine hygiene products and cash donations; however, Marson encourages people to consider the time of year when they donate.
“Anything that makes a nice turkey dinner or nice holiday dinner so our clients can have just as much of a memory made as the rest of us,” she said.
Last year’s food drive collected 1442 pounds of non-perishable food, along with $1815.85 in monetary donations and $240 in gift cards.