How much food could a wood chipper raise if a wood chipper could raise food?
That’s an answer Lloyd Rumbolt of Lloyd’s Limb Service will find out this weekend at the end of his Chip Away Hunger food drive, which takes place Saturday at ASTEC Safety Inc. from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Chip Away Hunger works by having local residents bring their old Christmas trees to be mulched for the cost of a food or cash donation, which will go straight to the Salvation Army Food Bank.
“It’s, as far as I know, the first annual Christmas tree recycling program for food donations to the Lloydminster Food Bank; we’re hoping to get somewhere in the range of 200 trees as a goal,” said Rumbolt.
“Not sure what to set as a target because it’s the first one, but it’s a recycling program that’s common in other cities I’ve been to and it’s been a good success; I just decided to start one here after moving here a few years ago.”
Rumbolt has run similar campaigns in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. and after moving to the Border City, he said he thought the food bank would be a good organization to benefit, especially after Christmas.
This should offer some needed relief to the charity, as last year it reported double the amount of people using its service over the year previous.
He added that he and his family moved to Lloydminster roughly three years ago, and decided to give back to the city for helping provide them with a fresh start.
So far he’s gotten trees and donations from grocery stores like Superstore and Sobey’s, the latter of which provided about 70 unsold Christmas trees to be mulched.
“We have committed to it as an annual event, based on success of course, but I think already I can expect it’ll be a good turnout for the following years,” he said.
“Especially as people start to understand that it’s another avenue to dispose of their trees.”
Not only is the campaign a good way to get rid of the old Christmas trees and raise items for the food bank, but the resulting mulch will also go back into the community for use as a weed suppressant and water retention tool at local parks.