For the twenty-third year in a row, workers and administration at transit services in Thunder Bay, Ont., are coming together for the annual Santa Bus food drive, which wraps up December 10.

"It's a wonderful sense of community," says Ken Koza, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union local 966.

"Transit operators, they tend to see all different sides of the city and one of them is recognizing there's a need for food within our food banks and we just feel it's an important cause," he said.

Ken Koza president Amalgamated Transit Union local 966

Ken Koza, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union local 966, in Thunder Bay, Ont., says the annual Santa Bus food drive is a way for the service to help people in need, many of whom the drivers see each day. (Ken Koza/Amalgamated Transit Union local 966)

Organizers are hoping to beat last year's all-time record collection of 11,000 pounds of food and $2,000 in cash donations.

Donation bins are available on every city bus.

As well, Koza said transit service volunteers will be accepting donations, from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday at the No Frills grocery store on Edward Street, and Sunday at the Metro on Arthur Street.

Here is a suggested list of food donations:

  • canned soup
  • canned pasta/sauces
  • canned meats
  • canned vegetables
  • dry pasta
  • baby formula
  • diapers

On Sunday, the empty Santa Bus will be weighed, and then all the collected food will be loaded inside. Then, the bus will be weighed again, to determine this year's collection amount.