A convoy of vehicles travelled from the Fraser Valley Auto Mall to the Abbotsford Community Services’ Food Bank on Saturday to deliver items collected during the annual food drive. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

A convoy of vehicles travelled from the Fraser Valley Auto Mall to the Abbotsford Community Services’ Food Bank on Saturday to deliver items collected during the annual food drive. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford food drive donates estimated $50k to food bank

Annual Fraser Valley Automall Food Drive donated $6,500 cheque, but up to $50,000 in total value

An organizer of an annual food drive for the Abbotsford Community Services Food Bank estimates this year’s event raised up to $50,000 in value.

The 12th annual Fraser Valley Auto Mall Food Drive convoy was held Saturday, and landed the food bank a large cheque of nearly $6,500. A parade of vehicles – including police and firefighters, with full lights and sirens – travelled from the auto mall to the food bank in spectacular fashion.

RELATED: Fraser Valley Auto Mall holds 12th annual food drive

The event was organized by now-retired firefighter Roy Ferraro, who had organized the food drive in the past and has continued the tradition in his retirement.

In the weeks leading up to the convoy, firefighters went door to door in local neighbourhoods to collect donations, while nine auto mall dealerships, Automall Autobody, local fire halls and Save-On-Foods took donations at their locations.

At Saturday’s event, food bank manager Dave Murray said seniors are the fastest growing demographic of new food bank patrons.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of seniors in this community who live in isolation, who have hardly any contacts – some of them have no contacts,” Murray said.

The convoy did two loops around the auto mall, located on Mt. Lehman Road, and headed down South Fraser Way to the food bank on Essendene, where they presented the large cheque and brought trucks full of food.

“This is an amazingly generous community. We see this every year,” said Mayor Henry Braun. “I don’t think we … fully understand the impact of what you are doing here today in our community, because many, many people are at their wits’ end.

“This is going to supply food to maybe a single mom with two or three kids who doesn’t know where their next meal is coming from (as well as) homeless people.”

Ferraro said the event will run again next year, with hopes of going bigger and better.

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

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A special guest joined the Fraser Valley Auto Mall Food Drive convoy on Saturday as it travelled from the auto mall to the Abbotsford Community Services’ Food Bank. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)

A special guest joined the Fraser Valley Auto Mall Food Drive convoy on Saturday as it travelled from the auto mall to the Abbotsford Community Services’ Food Bank. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)