Deputy fire chief Michael Van Dop and the Maple Ridge Fire Department will be holding their annual food drive for the the Friends in Need Food Bank and the Christmas Hamper Society on Dec. 15. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Deputy fire chief Michael Van Dop and the Maple Ridge Fire Department will be holding their annual food drive for the the Friends in Need Food Bank and the Christmas Hamper Society on Dec. 15. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Firefighters get behind Christmas charities

Food and toy drives coming in December in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows firefighters are gearing up for their annual food drive that helps sustain the Friends in Need Food Bank until spring, and puts some more cheer into the Christmas Hamper Society.

On Dec. 15, teams of Maple Ridge firefighters will be at all three Save-On-Foods locations, as well as Safeway, No Frills and Thrifty Foods from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., collecting donations of non-perishable food, unwrapped toys and cash.

All proceeds are shared between the food bank and hamper society.

“As people leave the store, they just give us their donation,” said Maple Ridge assistant chief Timo Juurakko. “For us, this is one of our biggest events of the year.”

The same is true of Pitt Meadows firefighters, who will also be out collecting donations on the same day.

They will be at Meadow Vale Shopping Centre, at Starbucks, Shoppers Drug Mart and Save-On-Foods. They will also have firefighters at Meadowtown Centre, at Real Canadian Superstore, the liquor store and Tim Hortons from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.