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Bus stuffed with food

Kent Driscoll
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Dec 19/05) - One stuffed bus will mean stuffed stomachs at Christmas, thanks to the people at the Nunavut Food Bank.

The group's annual food drive is called "Stuff-A-Bus." The idea is to fill a bus with food for the needy. This year, they faced a bigger challenge.

"This was our biggest bus ever," said Nunavut Food Bank's Jennifer Hayward.

Every year Bob Hanson donates the bus and the driver. This year, Hanson also brought the 16 volunteers coffee, too. The bus used was a full-sized school bus, and by the end of the fundraiser, the bus was pretty full.

The group gathered more than the 3,000-can-goal they had set for themselves.

Hayward figures the amount they received should last them until mid-February. This is the third year for the food drive, and with experience comes wisdom. Last year, the group received 54 cans of olives. "It's not that we don't appreciate olives, but 54 cans..." said Hayward.

Northmart helped fight the olive glut this year. They sold pre-packed bags of groceries for $20. The bags had $25 worth of groceries in them, and with the bus just across the street in the Northmart parking lot, many people chose the simple option.

When asked if the demand has gone up over the three years, Hayward said, "Absolutely. We are the Nunavut Food Bank and we hear from people all over the territory."