On May 31, police hope to be cramming food, not villains, into the backs of squad cars.
From noon to 5 p.m., police cars will be in the parking lots at the Co-op Marketplace, Superstore and Safeway grocery stores for the Lloydminster RCMP’s inaugural Stuff the Cruiser food drive campaign. The goal is to see how many donated bags of groceries will fit in the back seat of police cruisers.
“This is something that has been done at different detachments and other places and we’ve decided that it’s something that we want to do here in Lloydminster,” RCMP Const. Grant Kirzinger said. “We’ll have some members there and you can donate whichever nonperishable food items you would like and we’ll put them in the back of the police car and see how much we can stuff in there and squish all of it into the back seat.”
The groceries will then be donated to the Lloydminster Salvation Army Family Care Centre and Food Bank. The organization’s need for donations rises in the summertime, and Kirzinger says Stuff the Cruiser aims to “replenish their depleting stock.” Donations are expected to pick up again in the fall and winter.
“The RCMP offered to do a food drive for us and we, of course, don’t say no,” Salvation Army community services worker Shannon Weinberger said. “It’s pretty exciting to have different parts of the city coming together and supporting the food bank, especially right now. Typically, this is the time of year when supplies start to go down because Christmas is our big donation influx, so this is the point where we’re not getting as many donations.”
Weinberger says preferred foodstuffs on the Salvation Army’s “food bank wish list” include canned soup, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables except for tomatoes. Rice, cereal, pasta, instant noodles and macaroni and cheese are also accepted, as are one-litre juice containers and juice boxes, pancake mix, syrup and lunch snacks like granola bars.
Non-food items are also in need. These include diapers, baby formula, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products.
As of May 25, the Co-op Marketplace has already started selling grocery bags full of food for $10 and $20 to be donated at the end of the month.
“The Lloydminster RCMP are invested in this community and want to see everyone that lives here have the best. We are hopeful this event will be a success and are asking for your support to help us collect as much food as possible,” Kirzinger said in a press release.
“We’d like to fill each police car at each location multiple times,” he said.