In the community

Vale Fire & Ambulance Auxiliary spearheads successful food drive

VALE – An ambitious effort to collect food for the Vale Food Pantry started slow but gained momentum and proved to be a success last month.

The food drive, spearheaded by the Vale Fire & Ambulance and its auxiliary, was conducted on Saturday, June 8, and Saturday, June 22.

Katie Braniff, president of the Vale Fire & Ambulance Auxiliary, said 2024 was the first time the fire department kicked off a food drive.

“We kind of wanted to find a way to give back to the community. We ask for a lot sometimes and thought what better way to do it,” said Braniff.

 Braniff said the June 8 food drive wasn’t as successful as she’d hoped.

“We kind of regrouped and ordered some classic shopping bags and put fliers out and sent crews door-to-door. The second go-around was a lot better,” said Braniff.

Braniff said the auxiliary did not have a firm number on how many pounds of food was collected.

“It quite a lot of food. It covered two of the six-foot tables,” she said.

Jess Tolman, Vale fire chief, said the food drive was a good way to “help our neighbors in need.”

“We are planning on doing something like this every year from now on,” he said.

Tolman said the food drive was “awesome.”
“We got to get out there and into the public to do something good,” he said.

The department delivered the food to the Vale Food Pantry on Tuesday, June 25.

“We are absolutely thrilled and grateful for the community support,” said Braniff.

Braniff said the auxiliary consists of about half a dozen people and is “always looking for more hands to help.”
“We are all spouses or siblings of department members,” said Braniff.

The food drive will be a big boost, said Connie Ussing, Vale Food Pantry manager.

“It is awesome. We are really grateful,” said Ussing.

For more information on the Vale Fire & Ambulance Auxiliary contact 541-473-3796.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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