Stettler Food Bank after previous food drive. (File photo)

Stettler Food Bank after previous food drive. (File photo)

Stettler Fire Department, Food Bank hit the streets in food drive

A pair of Stettler-area volunteer groups are coming together for a good cause.

Members of the Stettler Regional Fire Department and volunteers with the Stettler Food Bank will be holding a food drive on Mon, Oct. 3.

Previously, the event was held on an annual basis; however, with the COVID-19 pandemic the two groups have been unable to hold the event since 2019.

“There’s two years we haven’t had it,” said Food Bank president Mark Higgins.

“It’s a great asset to the Food Bank.”

According to Higgins, fire trucks and follow vehicles with Food Bank volunteers will hit the streets of Stettler starting around 6 p.m.

Residents wishing to donate are asked to place non-perishable food items on their front steps for volunteers to collect, though he noted that volunteers will also have envelopes to accept cash donations.

And residents will definitely be able to hear the food drive coming. The fire trucks will run their sirens periodically as they go up and down the streets to let people know they are in the area.

Higgins says that volunteers are already lined up to sort the food collected both that evening and over the next couple of days following.

As already noted, the main push for this drive is going to be non-perishable foods such as cereals, pastas, soups and snack foods with current best-before dates. Higgins did mention that sealed hygiene products and even pet foods could also be used.

“Healthier the better, but we take what we can get,” said Higgins

“Anything we get is great.”

Fire Chief Mark Dennis added that volunteers from Atco Electric, Stettler Minor Football and other groups would join the fire department and food bank volunteers in the canvassing on Oct. 3.

“It’s something we like to participate in, and I’m sure the food bank needs the support,” said Dennis.

Dennis is not wrong. With the fallout from the pandemic still being felt with supply chain issues and out of control inflation, the Stettler Food Bank has seen both clients and expenses rise.

Unfortunately, Stettler isn’t an anomaly. According to Higgins what Stettler is seeing is consistent with what other food banks are seeing across the province.

Still, the community of Stettler has kept giving with both private and commercial produce from local farms.

“We’ve had a lot of fresh vegetables,” said Higgins.

As for cash donations, Higgins says those are harder to track. Those donations are typically lower at this time of year and highest closer to Christmas and the food bank won’t know whether cash donations are up or down until later in the year.

Higgins acknowledged that the food drive, and the work that the Stettler Food Bank does, couldn’t happen without the volunteers.

“It’s great that our community has all these volunteers that are willing to help out,” said Higgins.

For anyone wanting to get involved, the Stettler Food Bank can be found on Facebook or by calling 403-740-6733.

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