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Pelham firefighters aim to douse the flames of hunger

Food drive for Pelham Cares kicks off July 29
All branches of Pelham firefighting will be supporting the impending food drive for Pelham Cares. From left, Jeff Dam, Fenwick Firefighters' Association; Tom Bishop, President of Short Hills Fire and Rescue Association; Pelham Fire Chief Bob Lymburner; Owen Simmonds, President of Fenwick Firefighters' Association; John Kiss, Vice President of Fonthill Volunteer Fire Association.

The need continues to be great. Jenn Dubé, the office manager at Pelham Cares, says, “We hear repeatedly about the issue of food insecurity across Canada, and Pelham is not excluded. We have experienced an alarming increase in need locally, and are so grateful to our community organizations and volunteer clubs who come out to support us. Aside from our current clients, there are many families in our area who are truly just one pay cheque away from needing our support.”

The latest community organization to step up with support is the Pelham Volunteer Firefighters, who are hosting a Summer Food Drive for Pelham Cares on Saturday, July 29, from 9 AM until 3 PM. Firefighters from Pelham’s three fire stations will be present at drop- offs at three grocery retail locations in Fonthill: Sobeys, Food Basics, and Giant Tiger. Fire trucks will be on site, providing opportunities for kids to have their pictures taken with Pelham firefighters and their gear. Food and monetary donations will be gratefully received.

Jeff Dam, the volunteer firefighter who is the lead on this event, says that he and the other firefighters “Consider it an honour to support Pelham Cares, which is such an important partner in our municipality. We are thankful to have nearly 150 active and retired members from our community working within either our fire department or volunteer associations. Our members come from many different careers and life experiences, but share the same desire to support our neighbours and residents in Pelham.”

Pelham Fire is most conspicuous in the community responding to emergency calls, but has a long-standing tradition of supporting local causes.

“Unlike other times of the year, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, the peak of summer isn't when people think of donating to a food bank,” says Dam. “We are hopeful through this July food drive we can encourage our community members to consider donating in support of Pelham Cares, so that we can refill their shelves and help them continue their important work”.

Dam notes that this event is an effort supported by all three local firefighter associations and the fire department.

“As municipal governments have taken more direct control over the delivery of fire services, most have created a payment system to compensate volunteers for actual emergency response duties,” says Dam. “But it’s important to note that everything done by the firefighter associations is truly volunteer service, involving the dedication of countless hours of committed service to our community.”


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Don Rickers

About the Author: Don Rickers

A life-long Niagara resident, Don Rickers worked for 35 years in university and private school education. He segued into journalism in his retirement with the Voice of Pelham, and now PelhamToday
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