RCMP, city police collaborate to put food on tables for less fortunate

Prince Albert police Sgt. Travis Willie and members of the RCMP load food donations into boxes for the Food Bank of Dec. 20, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

The Food Bank sees a 15 to 20 per cent increase in families coming in over the holidays

Prince Albert RCMP and the city’s police service teamed up this holiday season to donate to the Food Bank—This year is the first, but not the last, for the community initiative.

The two organizations collected food and cash donations over 10 days. They launched it on Dec. 9 and the boxes of food, along with $225 in cash, were sent off to the Food Bank on Friday.

Kim Scruby, executive director for the Prince Albert Food Bank, estimated the number of families coming in over the holidays increase by 15 to 20 per cent.

“This is an awesome initiative. I’m pretty grateful for the continued support we get and this is definitely going to help. It’s all the right stuff and it’s the perfect time of year for it,” he said.

The Food Bank is particularly looking for non-perishable items, especially pasta and canned goods, said Scruby. He said it’s also nice to have baking supplies, such as flour, during the holidays.

“There’s so many expenses at Christmas time. Quite often food becomes the discretionary item on the household budget, so this is definitely going to help a lot of people.”

According to RCMP Staff Sgt. Brian Kelly, one of their constables came up with the idea and reached out to the police service.

“We want to make sure at least at this time of year that there is a nice meal that family and people are able to get together and share,” said Kelly. “That’s how family gets together; that’s how friends get together.”

“This time of year for the most part is a very special time for a lot of people and if they can’t eat, that’s a problem.”

Prince Albert police Sgt. Travis Willie said once the RCMP reached out, they “jumped on it.”

“It was a quick timeline, but it happened and I couldn’t believe the amount of support from the public and how much food came in,” he said.

“It always amazes me just talking to Kim this morning from the Food Bank how much of a need there is.”

Both organizations would like to see the initiative grow bigger next year and potentially involve other emergency services partners or schools.

The Prince Albert Police Service collected food donations under a Christmas tree in its downtown substation. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)