Keith Moore, vice-president of Pelham Cares’ board of directors, hard at work taking stock of the stock in 2021. BERNIE PUCHALSKI

Fenwick volunteer firefighter Jeff Dam is hoping to extinguish the flames of hunger in community homes by leading a summer food drive for Pelham Cares. He has co-ordinated all three local stations — Fonthill, Fenwick, and Shorthills — in joining forces to locate firefighters at Food Basics and Sobeys, both on Highway 20 in Fonthill, on Saturday, July 23, from 9 AM to 3 PM. Modern and vintage fire trucks will be on site to enthrall the kids.

Jennifer Dubé, Office Manager at Pelham Cares, said that the shelves are depleted at the food bank, which serves dozens of local families, and consequently the summer food drive is a timely event to replenish inventory.

High on the list of needs are canned fruit, baking items, school snacks, hamburger helper, baked beans, side kicks, crackers, and canned meats.

“We are grateful that the Town provides us with really good firefighting equipment,” said Dam. “We look forward to community events that allow us to meet and greet people. Pelham is growing rapidly, with a lot of new residents that might not be familiar with our volunteer firefighters, so it’s a great opportunity to provide awareness of our fire services, and fire safety issues.”

With deep family roots in Fenwick, where he still resides with his family, the 33-year-old Dam has been a volunteer firefighter since November 2008.

“I’m hoping the summer food drive will become an annual thing,” he said.

Pelham has separate firefighters associations: Fonthill (Station 1), Fenwick (Station 2), and North Pelham/Shorthills (Station 3). Each has its own volunteer group, made up of active and retired members of the fire department. They meet monthly and have their own fundraisers, such as voluntary road tolls in Fonthill, spaghetti dinners and fish frys in Fenwick, and strawberry socials in Shorthills.

Pelham Fire Services maintains a complement of almost 90 active volunteer firefighters.

In addition to food donations, cash will be gratefully accepted on July 23.

“One hundred percent of everything that we gather is being delivered directly to Pelham Cares at the end of the day,” said Dam.