Frank Dunn Toyota shifts food drive into high gear

Jodi Schellenberg
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A Prince Albert dealership is helping out the food bank, not for Christmas but afterwards.

The Frank Dunn Toyota sales team pose with the 2014 Toyota Tundra that is being filled with food drive donations this December and January. Anyone who comes into the dealership with a donation will be entered to win a Tundra.

The Frank Dunn Toyota is collecting donations up until Jan. 7 as part of their second annual food drive to restock the shelves for the new year.

“Our take on it is a little bit different,” general manager Peter Simpson said. “We are not trying to do it for the Christmas season, we are trying to restock the shelves for them in January.”

He said food banks are usually lower on supplies in January since most people were donating during the Christmas season.

“There is a lot of real good things going on right now where people are collecting lots of food for the food bank and they are very busy but again, the neat thing for us last year was when you show up in mid-January, that is really when they need to restock the shelves,” Simpson said.

The food drive was started last year by all the Prairie Toyota dealers in Canada, he said.

“This is our second year doing this, we did it last year as well,” Simpson said. “It is Prairie Toyota initiative. Every Toyota dealer in Western Canada is doing it.”

In its first year, the food drive collected more than 20,000 pounds of food for food banks in Western Canada. They are hoping to collect more this year by doubling the amount of time to collect food.

In addition, each dealership will make a personal donation of $550 to help meet their goal.

According to Food Banks Canada, close to 900,000 Canadians are assisted by food banks every month. Over half of the food banks in the country saw a 21 per cent increase in the number of people using them last year.

Although Simpson and his sales crew do not remember how many pounds were collected in Prince Albert, they said the box of the truck it was collecting in was heaped as high as possible and the cab was full too, a response they called “awesome and spectacular.”

The Prince Albert food bank was thrilled with the donation last year, Simpson said, and it did help a lot of families out in the new year. 

“We want to give the public a new perspective on hunger and continue to raise awareness of the need to restock out food bank’s supplies,” Simpson said. “At Prairie Toyota, one of our greatest features is the ability to help fight hunger. Last year, we delivered 20,000 pounds of food across the prairies -- this year, we want to feed even more.”

Not only can people drop by the dealership to donate non-perishable food items, they will also be able to enter in a draw to win a 2014 Toyota Tundra.

“What they want to do to make it successful is they tied a contest to it,” Simpson said. “So if you come into the store and bring any non-perishable item, you can enter the draw to win a 2014 Tundra, a brand-new redesigned truck.”

They encourage anyone in Prince Albert to come down to the dealership with a food item, have a cup of coffee and enter to win a truck.

Organizations: Prince Albert, Prince Albert food bank

Geographic location: Western Canada

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