For the third straight year, the annual ‘Firefighters Feeding Families Holiday Food Drive’ was a tremendous success! In recent days, the Columbia-Richland Fire Department collected enough donated canned goods and non-perishable food items to fill 300 bags.
Those bags were then distributed to families in need across the City of Columbia and Richland County.
“Our goal with this campaign each season is to try and assist as many struggling families as we possibly can,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “No person should have to go through the holidays facing hunger. Thanks to the tremendous generosity of our citizens and several large donations from area stores this year’s food drive will make an even greater positive impact on our communities.”
In raising 300 bags of food, ‘Firefighters Feeding Families’ has now set a new all-time record for donations. In 2021 the campaign distributed roughly 200 bags of food to members of the public.
The department would like to thank area Wal-Marts, Sam’s Club and Food Lions that contributed to the success of this year’s food drive by donating large quantities of food or providing grants funds so the department could purchase items.
Richland County Councilwoman Cheryl English and Columbia City Councilman Joe Taylor also made substantial financial contributions to help purchase food for the campaign. Donations of food were also made by Columbia City Council members William Brennan, Edward McDowell as well as Richland County Councilman Paul Livingston.
(from top left: Columbia City Councilman Joe Taylor with CRFD Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins; Columbia City Councilman Will Brennan & family with CRFD Assistant Chief Mickey Folsom; Assistant Richland County Administrator Dr. John Thompson, Columbia City Councilman Edward McDowell & Richland County Councilman Paul Livingston with CRFD Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins)
Following a large community collection day to close the drive on Friday December 16th, all of the donated food was distributed to area families the following week.
Columbia City Councilwoman Aditi Bussells and County Councilwoman English were on hand at department headquarters to assist fire department members with handing out the finished bags.
(Richland County Councilwoman Cheryl English (left) and Columbia City Councilwoman Dr. Aditi Bussells assisting on distribution day for ‘Firefighters Feeding Families’)
Families that received food assistance from the fire department were able to sign up for it in the weeks ahead of the collection day.