For many years now, food bank volunteers have been joined by OPP auxiliary members and it’s been a mutually beneficial arrangement.
In Sydenham, Verona and Sharbot Lake (like last Saturday), auxiliary officers have brought a police vehicle to a local grocery store (like Mike Dean’s) and joined food bank volunteers to collect foodstuffs and cash donations. They call it Stuff the Cruiser.
“I’m local and my mom’s on the (food bank) committee,” said Aux. Const. Nicole Greenstreet, a veteran of a half-dozen or so Stuff the Cruiser campaigns. “So I know the need.
“Plus it’s a good organization to be supporting that’s vital to the community.”
“I just like to help out with the food drive,” said Aux. Const. Curtis Jacques, who was on his fourth Saturday. “There’s a need and it’s fun to meet people in the community.”
The new kid on the block this week was Steve Scantlebury, a “just retired a week or two ago” local whose wife Barb is also on the food bank committee and suggested he help out. He said he’d be back.
“Any donations of food and/or cash are useful,” said Barb, as the cruiser was starting to fill up. “It looks like we’ll have to take the cruiser over to the food bank and empty it out shortly.
“I just joined last year and we had one time when we had to empty the cruiser out twice.”
“We’ve been blessed with donations that keep us running,” said North Frontenac Food Bank Director Kim Pascal-Cucoch. “The auxiliary OPP officers have helped us collect a lot and they give us a presence.
“This is a wonderful community that supports us on an ongoing basis.”
The food bank, behind the St. Lawrence Employment Centre, accepts donations on a year-round basis.
In every basket they try to add tea bags, instant coffee, sleeve crackers, packaged pasta and jars/cans of sauce, boxed cereal, Kraft Dinner, peanut butter, jam, packaged rice and cans of beans, stew or chunky soup, salmon, tuna, soup, juice and tomatoes.
In baskets for families with children, they add snack pudding or apple sauce cups, fruit cups, granola bars, drink boxes, Rice Krispie squares, hot chocolate packages and canned pasta like Alphagetti or Zoodles.