Beverley Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank, watches as primary care paramedics Jeff Radvin and Tim Fletcher carry in groceries into the foodbank. Paramedics from across the Saanich Peninsula helped to collect groceries worth at least $9,000 and another $3,000 in cash donations. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Saanich Peninsula paramedics stock shelves at Sidney foodbank

Paramedics hauled in some 9,000 in donated groceries and $3,000 in cash

Primary care paramedic Tim Fletcher knows first hand that many people struggle to put food on the table.

“We respond all over the Peninsula, we have seen all walks of life, all different families, and we know there is a need out there, because we have seen the need,” said Fletcher.

It is this spirit of giving back to the community that inspired Fletcher, his colleague Jeff Radvin and paramedics from across the Saanich Peninsula to fill one of their ambulances with at least $9,000 worth of donated groceries and other items for the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank. The campaign also collected some $3,000 in cash.

“We go into so many peoples’ houses, we see the social demographics, so we know that this is good cause,” said Fletcher, as he taps on the outside of the vehicle.

RELATED: Music fundraiser for Peninsula foodbank rocks new record

Radvin said this year’s donation drive was the second of its kind in three years and both agreed that the response of the public could have not been better.

“As it filled up, we were getting giddy,” said Fletcher. “We could notice that the back of the ambulance was actually getting lower and lower. It feels heavy.”

Radvin said driving the ambulance to the food bank felt like driving a football team to their game.

“And how do you feel about having food in back? It is a lot better than having patients in the back,” he added. “That’s for sure,” he said.

The collection drive itself started Friday night in the parking lot of the Thrifty Foods outlet in Central Saanich and lasted 30 hours.

“They were more than happy to allow us into their parking lot and take up parking spaces for the weekend,” said Radvin.

Customers, as well as staff working at the grocery store, went above and beyond expectations in buying groceries, with some also donating cash, said Radvin.

Beverley Elder, the food bank’s executive director, said the donation will make a huge difference in keeping shelves stocked.

“It was a nice surprise,” she said of the donation, which she learned off via social media post on Saturday. “It has been great to get these spontaneous donations.”


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

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

Just Posted

New Democratic leader John Horgan during Monday's campaign stop in Sidney. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
NDP John Horgan wins Langford-Juan de Fuca

BC Green candidate Gord Baird takes second place early in the polls

(BC Hydro outage map)
UPDATE: Power restored to more than 3,000 Sooke residents

Two polling stations impacted by outage

Christopher Mauro, right, assistant manager of the Sidney Save-On-Foods, and Nick Luney, youth initiatives director for the Victoria Pride Society, celebrate the success of a pandemic fundraiser for the local Pride Society. (Courtesy Save-On Foods)
Grocery managers across the Island pull together for Queer youth

With Victoria Pride Parade and Festival cancelled, Save-On-Foods staff found a way to raise funds

The mottled sky, the lights coming on at water’s edge and in Victoria West, and the reflections on the building windows make for a scenic sunset photo in Victoria’s Selkirk neighbourhood. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Sunset on the Selkirk in Victoria

Send your photos to editor@vicnews.com for a chance to see them in the paper

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

Most Read