Mercer Island Fire Department collects food at Albertsons for food bank

The Mercer Island Local IFF (International Fire Fighters) 1762 will be at the Mercer Island Albertsons store from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24, collecting food for the Mercer Island Food Bank through Youth and Family Services.

They will be hard to miss because a fire truck will be front and center, promoting the theme “Fill the Fire Truck.” Spokesman and Union President Ray Austin said they chose the day before Thanksgiving because it’s such a busy shopping day.

“The Mercer Island Food Bank has been hit pretty hard; it’s pretty depleted,” Austin said.

John Gillespie, the manager of Albertsons, said they’ve had other groups conduct food drives at the store, but this is a first for firefighters. Gillespie said Youth and Family Services is in need of extra food.

“The demand is high at all the food banks,” Gillespie said.

The firefighters will hold one more food drive at Albertsons in December. Flyers will be passed out on Wednesday with the date for the December drive.

A warm clothing drive called “Coats for Christmas” is another project of the firefighters. Drop off warm coats at the fire station, 3030 78th Ave. S.E., throughout December, and they will be donated to the downtown Seattle homeless shelter.

Also, after the tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 3 in Mercerdale Park, the firefighters will host a free chili feed at the firehouse with Santa and other surprises.

For more information, call (206) 275-7974.

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