BROCKWAY — Now in its fourth year, the annual Brockway Volunteer Fire Department “Fill The Engine” Food Drive continues to gather food for local food pantries.
Emily Wingard started the “Fill The Engine” drive when she was a senior in high school. She continues to help organize the event.
“I needed a senior project,” Wingard explained. “I wanted to involve the fire hall in some way that did not involve fighting fires. I came up with the idea of the food drive.”
Wingard said that her family had to get food from the food pantry, so she also wanted the project to help local families who had fallen on tough times.
“When I was younger, my mom had to get food from the food pantry,” she said. “I know it’s hard for people.”
The drive takes place in the Martino’s Bilo parking lot. Martino’s provides coffee and hot chocolate. This year, the truck was a little late because the department had to respond to a fire call earlier in the morning.
In previous years, the fire department has received enough donations to fill two engines. The weather and the new time period of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. made Wingard a little nervous about the outcome. That concern was unnecessary. This year, they had to bring in a third engine.
Back at the fire hall, the volunteers lay out the food on tables and sort through what they received.
“We get quite a large amount of food,” Wingard said. “We usually need seven tables to sort it all out.”
They accept non-perishable food items as well as toiletries. All the donated materials go to St. Vincent de Paul at St. Tobias Catholic Church and Helping Hand Food Pantry.
People who missed the drive can still donate at those locations or at the fire hall.