By Robyn Roste, Special to The News
On one of the busiest shopping days of the year, vehicles from the Fraser Valley Auto Mall Food Drive will convoy down South Fraser Way to deliver food and money to the Archway Food Bank of Abbotsford.
“We started this as a small project after realizing the city of Abbotsford’s food bank has a major requirement for assistance,” said Steve Magown, Fraser Valley Auto Mall manager.
Now in its 13th year, the annual food drive is a partnership between the auto mall, local Save-On-Foods stores and Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service. Donation items are collected over the weeks leading up to the event at auto mall dealerships, Automall Autobody, Abbotsford Save-On-Foods locations and local fire halls.
Although the exact amount of donated food and money varies each year, Magown said their aim is to provide enough to supply the food bank through the winter months.
“The weird part of it all in this whole story is every year the need seems to augment,” he said. “I don’t understand it and I find it absolutely unbelievable. I’ve mentioned that to my group and every year my 10 dealers give generously to make sure we carry on this tradition. Now more than ever it’s an important function of what we do in Abbotsford.”
Intending to raise general awareness and public involvement, the convoy of decorated vehicles will leave the Fraser Valley Auto Mall at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. After driving twice around the auto mall loop, the procession will travel to the food bank on Essendene Avenue, escorted by the Abbotsford Police Department and Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service.
Prior to the convoy, between 10 and 11 a.m, the public is invited to drop off non-perishable items at the Fraser Valley Auto Mall. People will have the opportunity to view the decorated vehicles and fire trucks up close.
“This is not a big, crazy event. It’s just a gathering; mall trucks decorated with Christmas lights,” Magown said. “It’s kind of an informal ‘Let’s get together and bring some food to the food bank.’”
This year, the Fraser Valley Auto Mall Food Drive expects to donate more than $15,000 in groceries and gifts to the food bank.
“By the time the dust settles, our partners really make a difference and I’m pretty proud to be a bit of a founder of this thing and see it grow the way it’s growing,” Magown said.