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Stuff the Cruiser supports Salvation Army

By November 4, 2022No Comments
Const. Melanie Flynn of the Lloydminster RCMP joined Major Bond Jennings from the Lloydminster Salvation Army Food Bank on Thursday for the annual Stuff the Cruise event, which brings in monetary and non-perishable food donations for the food bank. Taylor Weaver Meridian Source

 

Emergency lights were visible at the Real Canadian Superstore for most of last Thursday afternoon, but fear not as this was no crime spree, just the community coming together to support those in need.

Members of the Lloydminster RCMP, in partnership with the local Salvation Army Food Bank, were set up at Superstore from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday for the communities’ annual Stuff the Cruiser campaign. 

A tradition in the Border City since roughly 2015, Stuff the Cruiser is a pre-Christmas event geared to filling the shelves at the food bank while also bringing in monetary donations through the Salvation Army’s annual kettle campaign. 

Const. Flynn and Const. Davidge of the Lloydminster RCMP joined Maj. Bond Jennings, pastor at the local Salvation Army Church, for a day of community involvement and collection.

“Today’s going well,” said Jennings. “We’ve got a full cruiser by the looks of it and we’re hoping to get some more. We’ve had some monetary donations come in as well, as we brought one of our kettle stands, and that’s been going really well, too.”

Jennings and his wife have been looking after community ministries at the local Salvation Army for three years, and throughout that time, Jennings has seen an increase in demand.

“This is going to be a great help; it’s been a busy year for us and the demand has increased for us,” he said. 

“To date, 150 new people have come to us looking for assistance. Last year we prepared 500 Christmas hampers, this year I’m preparing 650 to make sure those additional 150 people get what they need. With the demand we’re seeing, as fast as food comes in, it literally goes out the door again.”

Jennings explained every week, the food bank is handing out 50-60 food hampers to families as well as 20-25 hampers to seniors who are struggling.

“We do our regular hampers once every six weeks for families in need,” he said. “Another thing that’s changed is our food supply chain. We’ve had to change how often we can have people come to us for assistance because of supply, which is not something we wanted to do, but with the demand and resources we have, we’ve had to change things.

“The need is there, but the support people are giving us is also great. The people, organizations and local businesses that make up the community of Lloydminster, their support is fantastic and we certainly appreciate how they can trust us with their monetary and food donations, which are going back into the community to support those in need.”

Jennings also explained the food bank provides more than just food hampers to families and seniors in need and runs programs through the local schools.

“We do several different programs with regards to the food piece,” he said. 

“We assist the public schools with what we call a ‘Kids’ Kit.’ Teachers in the schools have identified children that may go home on the weekend and may not, for whatever reason, be eating properly. 

“Every week, right now, it’s roughly 155 kids’ kits to the schools per week, and those come at a cost of about $21 per bag. We run that program for 37 weeks of the year and value it at about $128,000.”

The Lloydminster Salvation Army is located at 2302 53 Ave, Lloydminster and can be reached at 780-875-9166.