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'Stuff-A-Cruiser' deemed success

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The eighth-annual “Stuff-A-Cruiser” initiative was held Saturday across Rainy River District.

Members of the Rainy River District OPP, Canadian National Railway Police, Rainy River District Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Treaty #3 Police Service, and Canada Border Services all were with emergency service vehicles loading up items in support of food banks.

The OPP always has been a proud supporter of the “Push For Change,” and by taking action to work with these stakeholders, we are continuing to sustain the work needed to help address youth homelessness and hunger.

This year's event was co-ordinated through a collaboration of community stakeholders. Together, we are working together to raise awareness of the need to fill banks going into the holiday season.

Partners included Ontario Legal Clinics, Safe Communities Rainy River District, Tess's Kitchen, McDonald's Restaurant, Iron Range Bus Lines, and “Project Sunset.”

“'Project Sunset' helped to supply a trailer and provide youth with supplies to decorate the cruisers, ambulances, and a school bus,” noted Jenn Kivimaki of the United Native Friendship Centre here.

“The 'Sunset' youth participated throughout the day as part of their community service work while OPP helped to co-ordinate emergency service logistics across the district,” she added.

“It's an important event in our district,” said Sgt. Anne McCoy, OPP Special Projects Co-ordinator, Project Sunset.

“Our food banks need support all year round, but it is especially crucial at this time of year that we come together to help take the pressure off the service agencies collecting food so they can focus energy on getting the food to families,” she stressed.

Thanks to very generous businesses and patrons at Wal-Mart, The Place, Safeway, Cloverleaf Grocery and Beaver Mills Market, the event saw more than 68 cruiser loads of food distributed across the district between the UNFC, Salvation Army, Emo Food Bank and Thrift Shop, Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau, and the Westend Food Bank.

The OPP would like to recognize the UNFC for taking the lead role in organizing this year's event.

For more information, check out www.celebratingdiversity.ca

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