Volunteer crews from North Saanich, Central Saanich and Sidney fire departments hauled in more than 44,000 pounds of food and $10,000 in cash donations for the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank during their annual drive, Dec. 15. (Contributed/Brian Thomas)

Peninsula firefighters haul in 44,000 pounds of food, nearly $10,000 for food bank

Annual collection drive orchestrated by local fire departments ‘a fantastic success’ say organizers

If you heard holiday tunes and saw flashing lights atop fire trucks this past weekend it may have looked like another Christmas parade as firefighters from across the Peninsula collected donations for the annual food drive benefiting the local food bank.

And just like the actual Christmas parade, the food drive seems to have become an event people wait for, says Brian Thomas of the North Saanich Fire Department.

“It’s an incredible sight because people’s generosity overwhelms you sometimes,” says Thomas, who along with the Central Saanich and Sidney volunteer departments spent Saturday winding their way through neighbourhoods collecting donations, bringing Santa along with them.

RELATED: Peninsula firefighters look to the community for help in giving back

Thomas says the sheer size of donated items requires more trucks every year, sometimes unloading three or four times during the evening.

The weather held out perfectly, he says, estimating the haul was an increase of at least 10 per cent over last year, gathered by volunteer crews that included firefighters and their families.

“Here’s a bunch of people that donate their time for thousands of hours a year and then not only are they going to fire calls in the middle of the night but they give more of their time back to the community to help them out,” he says. “They don’t even give it a second thought.

RELATED: North Saanich curling club donates to Peninsula food bank

Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank estimates the drive brought in a total of $10,000 in cash donations and more than 44,000 pounds of food – a hefty increase from last year.

“Every place that the food went in the food bank was empty before,” she says. “There was 20 empty spots and it’s overflowing on the floor right now.”

It’s a good problem to have, however, she knows the bounty won’t last long.

RELATED: Sidney veterans club raises $29,000 for community organizations

“It will probably only last us until March, and certain items we’ll run out of pretty much right away,” she says, pointing out the food bank will take donations up until Dec. 22, and is still in need of toiletries, juice, canned fruits and vegetables and rice.

Still, Elder and the team are grateful. “It’s amazing the dedication these guys and their families have. It’s pretty heartwarming to see all the time and effort, especially this time of year when everyone is so busy.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Quadriplegic Saanich man seeks continuity of home care from Island Health

Island Health took over home care services in November

Panthers wrap up regular season with playoff preview

Peninsula faces off against Westshore Friday night before opening playoffs Monday

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

Lawyer says substitute teacher fought sexual urges for 30 years

Former Victoria badminton coach Harry Charles Sadd to be sentenced for sexual abuse of boys

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Most Read