Thunder Bay

Sounds of the Season deliveries getting prepared for final destinations

The first dozen pallets of food are ready to move for CBC Thunder Bay's Sounds of the Season.

About 65,000 pounds of food has already been collected

Massive boxes of root vegetables were donated to the Regional Food Distribution Association to send to remote First Nation communities in northern Ontario. (Jackie McKay/CBC)

The first dozen pallets of food are ready to move for Sounds of the Season.

This year will be the biggest yet for the annual food drive, with nearly 20 communities set to receive holiday cheer just in time for Christmas.

CBC Thunder Bay is once again partnering with the Regional Food Distribution Association, as well as five air partners and one on the ground to bring food to more communities across a larger area.

Regional Food Distribution Association executive director Volker Kromm said about 65,000 pounds of food has already been collected for Sounds of the Season. Each pallet weighs 1,500 pounds and is loaded with fresh vegetables and other food items.

The first 12 pallets were sorted and loaded on Wednesday, in advance of their deliveries early next week.

"We're in the process of repackaging all the products and making up pallets. What we had to do was a bit of a logistical plan, figuring out when pallets should be where, which truck is taking it to what destination and what airline, what hanger to take it to so it can be staged and taken to the appropriate community," Kromm said.

Kromm said the pallets are divided into different types of food, with each community receiving two or three pallets.
CBC Thunder Bay's annual Sounds of the Season food drive takes place on Dec. 17. (CBC Thunder Bay)

"We've broken it down into one pallet of perishables, where we would have the tomatoes and the peppers, the apples and things of that nature," Kromm said. "The other ones are dry goods, canned goods, a little more robust."

Five partners - Bearskin Airlines, KBM Resources, North Star Air, Perimeter Aviation and Wasaya Airways - are all participating to fly into remote northern communities.

As well, Erb Transport is hitting the road with one truck each heading east to Kapuskasing and west to Winnipeg to be able to reach more communities.

Each of the airlines is accepting food and cash donations, offering various incentives and prize draws.

On Dec. 17, CBC Thunder Bay will be broadcasting live from the Thunder Bay International Airport as food deliveries take place. CBC Thunder Bay reporters will be visiting some of the communities, as well, covering the deliveries as they happen.