If you were driving or walking down South Fraser Way this morning (Saturday), you would have seen flashing lights and heard loud honking from a convoy of fire trucks, vehicles, police escorts, and a Save-On-Foods semi-trailer.
On their way to the Abbotsford Community Services Food Bank at 33914 Essendene Ave., participants in this year’s food drive, sponsored by the Fraser Valley Auto Mall, waved at pedestrians and drivers while following a white truck in which Santa Claus was riding.
“It seems that the more noise we make going down South Fraser Way, the more people come to donate the next year,” said Steve Magown, spokesperson for the auto mall.
“The food bank is in desperate need of getting stuff done, getting the food bank filled up. I think we’re doing a good job of helping them do that. It’s a good atmosphere for this time of year and we’re all in the spirit of giving right now, so it’s pretty fantastic.”
The food drive was a record-setter with nearly $30,000 worth of food donations raised this year, due to the collaborative efforts of the auto mall’s eight dealerships, Save-On-Foods, and the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service.
Staff from the auto mall’s dealership also donated a $1,000 cheque to the food bank.
In its fifth year, the food drive is the largest of its kind, said Dave Murray, director for the food bank.
“We serve about 7,000 clients. All this food from the food drive today from the auto mall will serve about 4,000 people. It goes a long way, even for next Christmas, so it’s very important to us.”
Food was piled high in the back of participating vehicles, including two fire trucks, two police cars, a Save-On-Foods semi-trailer and at least seven cars from different dealerships.
After arriving at the food bank, the vehicles then headed over to the food bank’s warehouse located on Progressive Way, where volunteers unloaded the donations.