Havre Daily News - News you can use

Firefighters and volunteers to collect for food bank


November 12, 2013

Lindsay Brown, file

Volunteers travel door to door in Havre last year, collecting canned food for the ELF Drive.

For people who will be in need of food this holiday season, Wednesday and Thursday may be the most important days of the year.

The Havre Fire Department's ELF drive - Everybody Loves Firefighters - will take place 6 to 9 p.m. both nights.

Firefighters will drive fire trucks through the city, sirens blasting and lights flashing, going door to door to collect food donations that will be handed over to the Havre Food Bank.

Firefighters will collect east of 5th Avenue Wednesday, and Thursday night they will go west of 5th Avenue.

"We're asking people to have food ready on their front porches, so we can deliver it to the food bank," said Havre firefighter Cody McLain."We appreciate all the help people give us so we can help out the food bank."

Lorna Bjerga, director of the food bank, said tons of food are collected during the annual ELF drive, more than at any other event.

The food will be used to feed hungry people throughout the season, she said.

The food will be used to prepare Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for people who need them. The holiday baskets will be a joint project with the Havre Salvation Army.

People interested in receiving the baskets should contact the Salvation Army today to make an appointment to meet with Salvation army officials on Wednesday or Thursday.

The Thanksgiving baskets will be "a turkey with all the fixings," said Trina Crawford of the Salvation Army.

Eligible people will have a choice of having a Thanksgiving or a Christmas basket, she said.

Bjerga said the food will be coming at the right time. There has been an uptick in the number of people looking for food, she said.

Part of the problem is the recent reductions in the food stamp of SNAP program, she said.

But there has also been an increase of people who just got laid off and are in need of additional food, she said.

Volunteers are needed for both Wednesday and Thursday night, McLain said.

People who want to help out by traveling with firefighters as they go about the city should show up at the fire station at 5;30 or 5:45, he said.

People who want to help sort and pack the food can stop at Van Orsdel United Methodist Church at or before 6 p.m., he said.


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