4,000 pounds of food and $8,500 in cash donations.
That’s how much was collected by the Fire Chiefs Association of Leeds and Grenville over the course of its two-week food drive earlier this month.
Joanne Franey, a volunteer from the Merrickville Emergency Food Cupboard who helped with the initiative, says the amount of public support for the food drive was overwhelming.
“You get one truck, thinking it’s mostly empty, and then they open the back of the truck, and it’s like, ‘oh my goodness, there’s more food,’” she says.
Franey was also pleased by the variety of other items, like hygiene and baby products, that were donated for the initiative.
She says this is the first time the Fire Chiefs Association has run a food drive like this, and she’s blown away by the success.
“The donors are somewhat struggling, too, with increased costs of everything,” she explains. “Our donations aren’t as plentiful as they once were. So, to see this kind of outpour come again, on the heels of Christmas, it’s just, when we saw the food, I felt very overwhelmed with the generosity of people.”
The organization finished counting out the total amounts Friday afternoon. The food and money are now being distributed to food banks across the region.