Islanders should donate to food banks, says Sgt. Andrew Blackadar. (CBC)

P.E.I.'s RCMP are asking people to pay it forward this Christmas season.           

Many Islanders drop off gifts and baked goods as this time of year to police detachments and headquarters.

The force is asking people to make a donation to a local food bank instead, said Sgt. Andrew Blackadar.

"Different community businesses go into their local detachment to offer food or they drop off different items to just show us appreciation for working with the RCMP throughout the year," said Blackadar.

"But, you know what, we get paid for our job, we have a job to do and we're going to do it regardless. We don't really need anything from the public. It would be better to make that donation directly to the food bank for people in the community who probably do need those donations."

This is the first time the RCMP has made this plea on the Island, said Blackadar.

RCMP policy states members are not supposed to accept gifts or tokens from the public, he said.