In total, 17 auxiliary officers from both the Ontario Provincial Police and Greater Sudbury Police Service spent hours at Vrab's Your Independent Grocer on Sunday bagging groceries and collecting donations for both Sudbury Food Bank and the Infant Food Bank.
OPP Const. Lucie Sirois said her crew of auxiliary officers were more than happy to help, because they know there are families who need help putting food on the table -- especially during the holidays.
“We are doing this so that everyone can have a happy Christmas,” Sirois said. “We understand not everyone is as lucky as we are to be police officers. We want to give back to the community we police, and this is our way of doing that.”
This is fourth year for the food drive, she said. In the past three years, the event has collected more than 7,000 tons of food.
Sudbury Food Bank president Greg Fontaine said there are several similar events happening throughout the city, but they wouldn't happen if people didn't step forward and volunteer their time.
“When people are willing to take time out of their busy personal schedules to do something to support the food bank, is very much appreciated,” Fontaine said.
In the four-week span at Christmas when people rally around the food bank, they collect about 25 per cent of the food bank's annual needs, he said.
“This time of year is extremely important in filling our shelves, and it has an impact throughout the entire year. Unfortunately, the number of people having to use the food bank have remained fairly consistent over the years – there is in excess of 14,000 accesses a month.”