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Food Bank providing drive-by Santa experience

The North Bay Food Bank wants to thank the community while spreading holiday cheer in a COVID-friendly way.

The Food Bank would usually have a float included in the city’s Santa Claus Parade where it could collect donations.

Debbie Marson, Executive Director of the Food Bank says they still wanted to show gratitude to the North Bay community for its support throughout the pandemic.

“We just want to thank everyone and have a little holiday cheer so that we can show how much we appreciate their support,” she said.

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On December 5, a block around the Food Bank on Fisher street will be sectioned off for a three-hour period for the Drive-by Santa Experience. Families will be able to drive up to the food bank, see Santa and Mrs. Claus while also receiving a goodie bag from elves. Food and monetary donations will also be accepted.

Marson says families driving by will also receive the ‘Santa Stop Here’ sign to keep up with a tradition.

“We’re still going to have that available to make sure Santa knows to stop at their house,” she said.

Marson says donations to the Food Bank have “petered off”, which she says is usual for the time of year.

Regardless, she says the Food Bank is prepared for whatever the next stage of the pandemic brings.

“If we go into another phase of this pandemic, who knows what’s going to happen? Right now, we’re thankful that the community has stepped up previous to this phase that we’re in and make sure that our shelves have enough food to sustain us for the next couple of months,” Marson explained.

And as the pandemic continues and the holidays approach, Marson says there has been no shortage of people needing the Food Bank’s services.

“We’re seeing a demand that hasn’t stopped. It’s different people, it’s new people,” she noted. “Situations change as CERB payments have stopped and other means aren’t there, people are needing to come back to us.”

The Drive-by Santa Experience will run from 10 am until 1 pm on December 5.

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