‘Stuff the Bus’ aims to fill food bank

Fill bus with food donations at Ferraro Foods on Friday

How much food can a bus hold?

On Friday, Trail Transit Services and Ferraro Foods will find out.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., a transit bus will be parked in front of Ferraro Foods in downtown Trail with the doors open, welcoming non-perishable food, warm clothing and monetary donations for the “Stuff the Bus” fundraiser.

Trevor Stach, general manager at Trail Transit Services, spearheaded the charity event which will be supporting the local Salvation Army in its mission to feed and clothe those in need.

“We are going to park a bus in front of Ferraro Foods and literally going to try and stuff it with food,” said Stach.

“There are lots of people who have plenty, and thankfully, relatively few who have nothing and we want to do anything we can to level that playing field and include people. This is an event that can be a quick win – putting food in bellies and jackets on backs before the holiday season.

“Anything we can do to make a stronger community is going to benefit everyone in the community, and this is the appropriate time of year, ahead of the Christmas rush when the food bank needs it the most.”

Stach brought the idea to Trail after seeing its success in other communities in the province.

“There have been different locations that have done this, most prevalently in Victoria, where they have been doing this for 13 years,” he said.

“I though it would be a great fit for us.”

Ferraro Foods was Trail Transit Services’ first choice of partner with for the fundraiser.

“You don’t see too many local businesses around anymore and Danny at Ferraro’s has always been really community-minded,” said Stach, adding that the donations will be going to the Salvation Army for distribution because of their charitable track record in the Trail area.

“There are a couple of different food banks in town, and there are groups that help out, but the Salvation Army is the largest and we went with the group that has helped out the most.”

There are a few things that are on the Salvation Army’s list of most needed items, including pasta sauce, canned soup, beans, granola bars and warm clothing, specifically for teenagers, but anything will help the cause.

For those that don’t have food or clothing to donate, Stach says financial donations are also being accepted on site by the Salvation Army or by contacting Trail Transit Services.

“We don’t want to exclude the people that don’t have any food to spare, but if they have an extra ten bucks in their pocket, they can still help out,” he said, mentioning that tax receipts will be available for donations $10 or more.

Along with the “Stuff the Bus” event, BC Transit buses in Trail, in partnership with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, will be accepting donations of warm clothing or non-perishable food items in lieu of the usual bus fare all day on Nov. 21. All regular fares collected will also be going to the cause.

For more information on the event, or to find out how to lend a hand, contact Sharman Thomas from Trail Transit Services at 250-368-7966.