It is the kind of double-double that will go a long way.
At $15,000, cash donations to the annual Peninsula Firefighters Christmas Food Drive more than doubled last year’s total. Firefighters from the three area departments also collected 20 pallets worth of food donated by residents Saturday during the annual Peninsula Firefighters Christmas Food Drive.
Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Food Bank, said the food drive has been very successful so far. “Our community is extremely generous to us, especially at Christmas time, but throughout the year too,” she said.
Some work still remains to get a full account of donations, she said. “But it’s definitely going to help out a lot of people,” said Elder. The food bank serves about 1,000 people a month.
The drive happened Saturday across Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney at various times with local firefighters collecting door to door or picking up pre-marked boxes.
Compared to last year, money donations went in the words of Elder “through the roof” in more than doubling last year’s total of $7,000. Food donations, meanwhile, dropped “very, very little,” she said.
Elder said she is not sure what accounts for the big jump in donations, but cites a number of potential reasons. “We have been promoting cash donations because the money goes further,” she said. “So I think people have been doing that, substituting one for the other. And the weather was a little bit iffy this weekend too. So people, instead of putting a bag of food out, decided to give dollars.”
Looking at the regional break-down of donations, residents in Central Saanich donated about $500 and six pallets of food.
North Saanich residents raised about $3,500 and seven pallets of food. “And Sidney brought in about seven-and-a-half pallets of food and $11,000,” she said. “They get the bragging rights.”
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