Durham police and Feed the Need cram cruisers with Easter dinner in Ajax, Oshawa, Pickering, Whitby

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Published April 1, 2022 at 1:51 pm

Durham Regional Police is hoping to provide Easter dinner to hungry residents via their annual cram-a-cruiser drive.

DRPS hosts cram-a-cruiser drive on many holidays collecting food for the community, most often at major retailers and schools throughout the region. They have partnered with Durham’s food distribution hub, Feed the Need, since 2017 organizing numerous charity drives.

The last cram-a-cruiser was launched at the Regional headquarters in Whitby for Christmas 2021. After days of donations, Durham police declared the event a massive success.

“Organizer Cst. Darryl Rice even had to call for ‘back-up’ vehicles to help transport the donations to community organizations,” said DRPS. Rice has organized the the Christmas Food and Toy Drive, now in its 34th year, for the last five Christmas seasons.

The next event the sixth annual DRPS Easter drive is set for April 2. Officer will be collecting donations at several locations;

  • Ajax Real Canadian Superstore at 30 Kingston Rd W
  • Bowmanville Loblaws at 2375 Hwy 2
  • Oshawa Real Canadian Superstore at 481 Gibb St
  • Oshawa Real Canadian Superstore at 1385 Harmony Rd N
  • Pickering Loblaws at 1792 Liverpool Rd
  • Uxbridge Zehrs at 323 Toronto St S
  • Whitby Real Canadian Superstore at 200 Taunton Rd W

Community Safety Unit officers will be at these locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to accept donations of non-perishable food or hygiene products to stock the shelves for Easter.

The following month Durham Police and Feed the Need are holding their school-wide cram-a-cruiser event after a two year absence.

The fifth such event is set for May 25 when officer will go to schools to fill their cruisers with the food collected. Schools have until May 13 to register and can start collecting food as soon as they wish. Schools can register through an email to Community Engagement Manager Robyn McKibbon at [email protected] with the subject line “We CAN cram a cruiser.”

Feed the Need is aiming to collect 13,000 meals worth of food throughout the drive. All food collected will be taken to the Feed the Need warehouse and weighed to measure the goal.

Their larger Spring Campaign is hoping to raise $100,000 and 50,000 pounds of food

The food will then go out to 65 partners across the Region including food banks, soup kitchens, shelters and school nutrition programs. These partners receive 140,000 pounds of food each month and the need has only grown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

There has 30 per cent jump in food bank usage during the pandemic as reported by Feed the Need. They say they have distributed 2.6 million pounds of food since April 2020.

Beyond these organized events, residents can donate to Feed the Need any time. Each dollar they raise translates to $7 worth of food.

Photo via Feed the Need in Durham.

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