Saturday marked the 11th year for Stuff an Emergency Vehicle in Guelph and they have raised over 133,000 pounds of non-perishable food items and other essentials for the Guelph Food Bank over the years.
Ahead of the total count of food and monetary donations, the food bank counted up over 6,200 pounds of food and over $3,000 of cash.
Emergency services like police, fire, and paramedics volunteered off-duty to help collect food and money donations from the public outside of Zehrs at 1045 Paisley Rd.
“Of course, the need for food and things is increasing,” said Leanne Swantko, Guelph Wellington Paramedic Service deputy chief.
“We see the food go right into the hands of the food bank,” she said. The ambulance truck pulls right up to the Guelph Food Bank and delivers the food they have collected.
Not only is there a need for non-perishable food items but for things like diapers, toiletries, toothpaste, and razors, Swantko said. It's good way to meet people outside of an emergency setting and get to know Guelph's emergency services as well, she said.
“So it's obviously extremely important to help out and give our time and we kind of stand out here,” said Cynthia Collison, acting captain with the Guelph Fire Department.
All of the emergency departments came together to help collect donations.
“Obviously when we’re on shift we’re working together collaboratively in more of an emergency setting,” said Mitchell Gourley, a firefighter with the Guelph Fire Department.
“So I think it's really healthy for us to be able to get together in a little bit more laid-back setting where we're able to do something productive for the community,” he said.
We’re really thankful that they like to help out and collect donations, said Danielle Moffat, assistant store manager at Zehrs.
“Yeah, we actually love standing behind this,” said Moffat. Zehrs makes non-perishable food item bags so it is easy for customers to purchase and donate.