Cheektowaga fire departments hold food drive for less fortunate
“Saturday before Christmas we come in and we do a little parade with Santa Claus and we pull up in front of Tops stores,” said Michelle Bliss, public information officer for Southline Fire Corporation.
Southline Fire Company, Bellevue Fire and Twin District held its 17th annual holiday food drive Saturday, Dec. 22 for those who are less fortunate or having financial difficulties during the season. Tops supermarket provides the districts with five holiday meals, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
The fire departments also put out food barrels after Thanksgiving for the community to donate non-perishable goods and General Mills donates cereal boxes for the families as well. Then the districts select the names of families in need and deliver the meals to their house with the help of Santa Claus himself.
“We call them and make sure they know that we are coming and it’s usually pretty emotional. Our Santa Claus said that he loves doing it because one of the little boys put his arms around his leg and said, “I love you Santa.” It almost brought tears to his eyes,” said Bliss.
The families consist of parents who have perhaps been laid off and are finding it hard to make ends meet or a single mother who needs a helping hand. Some folks even donate toys to the fire districts and then the fire department explorers, distribute them amongst the children.
“If we have toys we will divide it up and one girl is a single mom and she has three little girls, so we went with the toys and gave her the meal, and cereal, and non perishables,” said Bliss.
The departments hope to continue this holiday tradition each and every year.