The annual Black Diamond Firefighters Food Drive won't see the light of day this year as COVID claims its next event however the Oilfields Food Bank won't be left in the dark.

Information Coordinator for the Oilfields Food Bank Karen Milne says the Food Bank and Fire Department came to an agreement that the event simply wouldn't be possible this year.

"We looked at in terms of our space, how much space we needed and how many people we can have in that space and it simply wouldn't have worked as it has in previous years, Normally we would have all the firefighters out there going door to door and then the firetrucks would drop off everything through the large shoot we have in the low-levels of the United Church in Turner-Valley... all the food donations are sent down that large shoot and grabbed and packaged by a lot of volunteers, so none of that would have worked this year especially with the need to quarantine donations this year."

The event usually brings in a large chunk of donations for the Food Bank this time of year and Milne says they did have a back-up plan for if they couldn't go ahead with the food drive.

"Back in the spring when the pandemic had been declared the board sat down to think about what it would be like if there wasn't a door-to-door food drive and we applied for a grant from the provincial government... and we received a $30,000 grant. Normally in our food drive each year we collect about 6000 kilograms of food, when we take that and multiply it by about 5.50 per kilo it works out to around 32,000 dollars in food so we were able to cover most of what we would normally collect."

Milne says while they are covered in the food bank portion they do miss out on the community spirit of the event.

" Of course we are missing out on the community aspect of it. It's not just a food raiser it's a fun-draiser. Everybody who participates in it enjoys the experience and enjoys being together and none of us are doing that right now."

The Food Bank is still collecting food donations for this time of year through the United Church in Turner Valley as well as on their website.

Those who want to donate food can do so from 11:00 to 12:00 pm on Tuesdays at the United Church.


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