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Belleville Police give Gleaners Food Bank a boost

By Makala Chapman [5]

BELLEVILLE – Belleville Police [6] and Gleaners Food Bank [7] teamed up Thursday to help stock empty pantries across the Quinte area.

Auxiliary Constables Tony Justason and Andrew Fralick and Constable Paul Fyke braved the -14C temperatures and stationed themselves outside Marc’s No Frills on Bell Boulevard to collect food and monetary donations for the Cram-A-Cruiser event.

“This time of year there’s some families in need of meals and that kind of stuff,” said Fralick. “I think every community needs support, and that’s where the police and Gleaners come in.”

Fralick, who has been an auxiliary member of the Belleville Police for the past four years, said that when he first approached Gleaners earlier this year about the event, there was nothing but support and appreciation.

“They came out with the Gleaners Food Bank wish list so that we could hand (copies) out at the door (at No Frills), and gave us free bags for the customers inside to fill up and bring to us out at the cruiser,” he said.

Items on the wish list included non-perishables like canned fruits, vegetables and pastas.

But Fralick added that fresh produce like potatoes, onions, carrots and frozen turkeys is always appreciated.

Arlene Repart was one of many shoppers who stopped by to make a donation on her way out of the store.

“I’ve got kids, and I can’t even imagine how heartbreaking that must be to not to be able to buy groceries,” she said as she placed an armful of canned goods into the back of the police cruiser. “It could be any of us in that situation.”

The Trenton resident also said she appreciated what the food bank does for the community.

“I can’t get out there and help every person that needs help, but I appreciate that there are organizations that do this,” Repart said. “It could be your loved one receiving this. You just never know what’s in the future.”

Gleaners distributed over 7,570 food hampers that helped feed 3,131 local families in need over the course of 2015.

The event wrapped up at 2 p.m. and all donations were dropped off at the Gleaners warehouse on Wallbridge Crescent.

Click here [7] for more information on how to donate to Gleaners.