Firefighters, town staff to help GBF Feed Hope May 2

Five individuals stand 2 metres apart in front of a fire truck and a food drive box bearing the logo of the Grimsby Benevolent Fund.
A special Grimsby Benevolent Fund food drive has been set up for this Saturday – with support from Town of Grimsby and Grimsby Firefighters Association (GFA). On hand for the announcement were (L to R) GFA’s Steve Allingham; Acting Fire Chief Bill Thomson; GBF executive director Stacy Elia; Grimsby Mayor Jeff Jordan; and GFA’s Mike Ostaszewicz.

By Tristan Marks

Help feed hope this Saturday by leaving front porch donation for the Grimsby Benevolent Fund’s (GBF) food bank.

As part of a community effort, volunteers from the Grimsby Firefighter Association and the Town of Grimsby will be going house to house picking up donations of food left for the ‘Feed Hope’ drive from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

During this event, firefighters and town staff will be maintaining proper social distancing protocol. This means that there will be no knocking on doors or interactions of any kind with community members. Instead, those wishing to contribute must leave their donation by their front door by 8 a.m. to be collected.

Members of the community are asked to donate non-perishable food, pet food and hygiene products.

Event organizer Steve Allingham from the Grimsby Firefighter Association said this drive is a way of providing a unified front and bringing the community together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were looking for a way to provide a service and out reach while maintaining physical distancing,” said Allingham. “GBF is a perfect fit. They’re a pillar of the community and we’re happy to work with them.”

The firefighter association has a long-standing relation with GBF, traditionally helping collect donations for the charity’s Christmas Hamper Program at Grimsby’s annual Santa Claus Parade. For Saturday’s ‘Feed Hope’ drive, they will be joined by staff from the Town of Grimsby, to help cover donations throughout the town.

GBF executive director Stacy Elia said she’s “just thrilled” to have such support for her organization’s mission.

“It’s heartening to see the generosity in this time of trouble,” she said. “It just shows how quickly the community comes together to help support a good cause.”

Elia said this does not come a moment too soon either, as the town has seen a lot of residents put on the edge due to job closures caused by pandemic restrictions.

“The food bank has been busier than it’s ever been,” said Elia. “We’re enrolling clients almost daily.”

Community members can also choose to donate money to GBF online. Elia said any such contributions made on Saturday will be counted as part of the ‘Feed Hope’ event’s proceeds.

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