Toyota donates truckload to Prince Albert Food Bank

Jodi
Jodi Schellenberg
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Toyota is helping those in need this January.

Frank Dunn Toyota staff stack the donations of food on a table in the Prince Albert Food Bank on Wednesday morning. The donation will help restock the shelves for January, after a great deal of food was used over the holiday season.

Over the holiday season Frank Dunn Toyota held a promotion asking their customers to bring in a non-perishable food item to get their name entered to win a Toyota Tundra.

 The response from the community was amazing, sparking many people to bring food items to the dealership to help restock the shelves for January.

“We want to say thank you to all of our great Toyota customers that helped us build the big pile of food and the people of Prince Albert who helped us do it as well because it wasn’t just our customers,” Frank Dunn Toyota general manager Peter Simpson said.

The response in the city was better than last year, Simpson said.

“It was more successful and we collected more food,” Simpson said. “We had a bigger truck -- the new Tundra helped us out with that and we look forward to doing it again.”

The large donation, which more than filled the Toyota Tundra, was appreciated by the Prince Albert Food Bank.

“Not only is this at our end that it helps everyone else out that is in need for the food bank but it also is showing the social responsibility of all the companies here in town,” co-manager Wes Clark said. “Frank Dunn Toyota has always been there to support us so we have nothing but good things to say there.”

The staff at Toyota wanted to do the food drive again after the success of last year’s drive.

“It is just a great community effort and it creates great community spirit,” Simpson said.

They donate the food in January to help after the holidays, Simpson said.

“We did it around Christmas and we try to help out after the Christmas season to restock the shelves is the motivation we have for it,” Simpson said. “As we did some research into the time of year we wanted to do it, Christmas is always a busy time but what happens is some of the attention drops off the food banks after Christmas and to restock the shelves in January was what the motivation was to do it now.”

Clark said donations to the food bank start falling off after Christmas.

“It will fill our shelves, which will enable us to make hampers and serve food in our kitchen,” Clark said. “In that respect it will help those who happen to be in need from time to time.”

“As we head closer and closer towards summer and people are thinking about leaving the city and that’s when our donations sort of fall off,” he added. “The timing couldn’t be better.”

Although Simpson said they were not sure how much food has been donated, a total weight from all of Western Canada will be determined soon.

“We will take a weight of a truck and then of course what a full box of food will weigh and we have 37 dealers doing this today right across Western Canada,” Simpson said. “What we will do is have a little measurement of weigh later on. We won’t know until the end of the day how much food we collected.”

He said there was an amazing response from a smaller city.

“I think we did very strong for a community our size, which is typical of Prince Albert to over contribute to everything,” Simpson smiled. “I think we were very successful this year and I would be surprised if anyone can do as well as Prince Albert.”

The donations will help a wide range of people who frequent the food bank.

“It can be anywhere from people who have maybe one minimum wage job or things like that,” Clark said. “We have a high amount of people with partial job income, we have a lot of seniors, a lot of students, people on disability -- there is just a wide spectrum.

“You can’t really point it out to any one person,” he added. “There are just a lot of people who are in need from time to time.”

Toyota is looking forward to continuing the project again in December 2014.  

Organizations: Toyota, Prince Albert, Prince Albert Food Bank

Geographic location: Western Canada

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