The annual Stuff the Cruiser event helps to raise food and money for the Chilliwack food bank.

Yarrow students get on Santa’s nice list with food donations

Students, firefighters and RCMP all have ways of stocking shelves for Chilliwack food banks

Students at Yarrow elementary have been putting themselves on the ‘nice’ list, by helping out the community’s most vulnerable people.

They’ve created a fun-spirited — and musical — way to raise food donations for Ruth and Naomi’s, matching up each week from Nov. 14 to the Christmas break with a special item requested by the mission. That’s 12 weeks, 12 special items, and one favourite Christmas carol.

For example: “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: A jar of peanut butter!”

That was the item asked from Nov. 14 to 17. And each time a student brings in an item to donate, they can add their name to the growing ‘nice’ list at the donation gathering area.

On the second day/week, they asked for boxes of cereal and that jar of peanut butter. The third week, last week, they asked for brown rice, cereal, and peanut butter. And on and on it will go.

And the donations are adding up. They’ve already gathered up more food from students than they did for last year’s food drive. But rather than wait until the end of the year to donate the items, they are taking the items to Ruth and Naomi’s at the end of each week.

Other items that will be asked for between now and Christmas include staples like pasta and sauces, canned meats and soups, meals in a can (stew), baby food, coffee and tea, yummy school snacks, canned fruits and vegetables, and dried beans and lentils.

They are just one of many schools who are trying unique ways, and tried and true methods, of helping fill the cupboards at local food banks. But if you don’t have a student to send donations with, there are other ways to help.

Door to door

The Chilliwack Fire Department is holding their Annual Food Drive on Monday, Dec. 4 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Once again, department members will be going door to door in the community, collecting donations for the Salvation Army Food Bank. Although many members will be involved in this drive, it will be impossible to reach every home in the community. Anyone wanting to make a donation to the Food Bank can drop items off at Hall #1, 45950 Cheam Avenue from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the week of Dec. 4 to 8.

Last year, members of Emergency Social Services, Chilliwack Search and Rescue, and the Chilliwack Fire Department collected more than 13,000 food items for the Salvation Army. The department thanks the community in advance for their continued generous support in helping those who are less fortunate in our community and we look forward to another successful food drive.

Stuff the Cruiser

Mounties are once again inviting the public to Stuff the Cruiser. This is the ninth annual campaign, as officers strive to pack police cruisers with non-perishable food items and cash donations. The event, in support of all local Salvation Army Food Banks, is being held on Dec. 2 at designated locations throughout the Upper Fraser Valley.

In Chilliwack, they’ll be at all three Save-On Foods locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“In past years we have collected over 5,000 pounds of groceries along with cash donations during our Stuff the Cruiser event. With the generous support of the Chilliwack community we are aiming to exceed last year’s totals,” says Constable Julie Bauer of the Chilliwack RCMP.

They also collect at the Agassiz Super Valu, Hope Save-On Foods, and at Canyon Tire in Boston Bar.

“RCMP invite everyone to come to any of our Stuff the Cruiser locations in the Upper Fraser Valley, meet your local officers, and participate in ensuring that no family goes hungry over the Christmas Season,” says Corporal Mike Rail, spokesperson for the UFVRD.

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RCMP officers (from left) Staff Sgt. Dave Eidet, Const. Malanie Boyle, and Const. Menno Van Agteren unload a bunch of non-perishable items after a woman donated a shopping cart full of food to the RCMP’s Stuff the Cruiser food drive in 2015. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)

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