Double the donations

Sidney firefighters collect more than double the cash donations in their annual food drive

Sidney firefighters Kirk Tamburino

Residents of Sidney really stepped up this season, donating more than double of their offerings last year at this time to the Sidney Fire Department Food Drive.

Held on Saturday, the drive collected more than $5,000 in cash donations and 155 boxes of food. The food tally alone was well over last year’s amount of 125 boxes.

Firefighter Rick Toogood says they got the word out earlier this year and that certainly helped with the increase in donations.

“The main reason for it is the people of Sidney,” he added. “People were waiting for the fire department to show up.”

The department’s sixth annual food drive will benefit the Sidney Lions Food Bank and their clients. On Monday, firefighters delivered the boxes to the food bank’s storage and sorting facility, where volunteers were busily preparing the Christmas hampers. Toogood said the department and their families who helped out on the weekend are thankful for people’s generosity and will look for more come next season.

Out in Central Saanich, the fire department there held their own food drive on Saturday as well. Fire Chief Ron French said they collected three truckloads of food, also for the local food bank.

“We could always get more,” French said. “And the food bank is the winner, that’s for sure.”

North Saanich Food Drive this weekend

Firefighters and their families from the North Saanich volunteer department will hold their 14th annual food drive on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Brian Thomas with the North Saanich Firefighters Association says they will collect food, cash and toys from residents in the Dean Park area between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Thomas said they hope to beat last years’ donations — all of which will help families in need on the Saanich Peninsula.

“It’s a big thing for us,” he said, “and for the community.”

Watch for the trucks, lights and sirens on Saturday.