Wrap your food donations and check your outdoor lights– the 34th annual Project Porchlight is almost upon us.
Starting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the Huntsville Lake of Bays Fire Department (HLOB) will go door-to-door in Huntsville and Lake of Bays collecting food for the Salvation Army Food Bank.
Paul Calleja, HLOB’s Deputy Fire Chief, says emergency services, public works crews, local organizations, and other volunteers are all ready to make the rounds– all they need is residents to supply the donations.
“Really what we need from the community, from the people that want to participate, [is to] make sure you’ve got your food in a container either on your porch, at the end of your driveway, wherever we have access to it,” says Calleja. “Throw your porchlight on for that night, so we can see from a distance that there’s something there, and we’ll stop by and we’ll grab it.”
Calleja says that most years, the food bank lists the supplies it needs most. However, that is not the case this year.
“Last year we went to the Salvation Army and asked ‘are there specifics that you need,’ and they did have a list,” says Calleja. “This year, they’ve said across the board ‘our shelves are empty’ and that they really need the support from the community that way.”
If volunteers miss your area or home, Calleja says you can call the fire department at 705-789-5201 to have them come pick up your donation. He adds you can also drop off food in bins at any of the department’s fire halls.
“We underestimate how many families are supported by the Salvation Army Food Bank,” says Calleja. “We don’t know who actually uses the food bank, [but] it’s our neighbours, and this is one way that we can directly help them.”