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A ton of holiday cheer

Laura Busch
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Workers were tinkering in the wee hours last Friday in an effort to spread some holiday spirit around the city. But there were no elves involved.

NNSL photo/graphic

City of Yellowknife employees Lucy Gillard, left, and Amber Neumann show off their departments' tallies for the city employee food drive last Friday. Community Services donated the most food with 391.3 kg collected. The Department of Public Safety was the runner up in the competition, gathering 329.8 kg of food for donation. - Laura Busch/ NNSL photo

Instead, city employees were working to weigh out food raised in city staff's first food drive before the start of the working day.

Results of the friendly competition between city hall divisions were announced the same day at noon.

"For years we've been donating recyclables," said Lucy Gillard, administrative co-ordinator for the fire division. "We really wanted to just do something for the community. And (a food drive) just seemed like this was a really good way of doing it."

All together city workers managed to collect 1,484.55 kg of food.

The city staff recreation association organized an interdepartmental food challenge. The competition was announced on Nov. 9 and participants were given one month to bring in items for donation.

"I much enjoy that they are willing to put on a food drive and collect food for those who are less fortunate in the city and willing to get this food together and have some fun doing it, said Major Dale Sobool, executive director of the Yellowknife Salvation Army, who was on hand to accept the donation and thank those who organized the challenge.

All full-time city employees are part of the rec association, which holds social events throughout the year such as the annual Christmas party and a summer golf tournament.

The food drive was the brain child of Gillard, who brought the idea forward at a recreation division meeting earlier in the season.

"This year we were tossing around ideas for Christmas and I asked everyone about how they would feel about doing a food drive," said Gillard. "It's the first time we've done it and I really didn't expect it to be this big."

Donated items were piled on all available table space and more was stacked on the floor in a downstairs boardroom at city hall Friday. Food stuffs available ranged from Cheetos to baby formula to cases of peanut butter to much, much more.

"I would say from what we see here, a lot of it will be going out in the Christmas hampers," said Sobool. "As for what isn't, the rest will be gone by January."

Each year, the Salvation Army puts together hampers that include a turkey, fixings for Christmas dinner, and enough food for about four extra days, Sobool said.

Fact file

Standings of City Employee Food Drive by division

  • 1st place: Community Services with 391.3 kg of food donated
  • 2nd place: Public Safety with 329.8 kg
  • 3rd place: Public Works with 276.95 kg
  • 4th place: Mayor's Office, administration and council with 252.8 kg
  • 5th place: Corporate Services with 176.55 kg
  • 6th place: Planning with 57.15 kg
Total: 1,484.55 Kg

Source: City of Yellowknife

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