The owner of a local vehicle dealership has challenged Thunder Bay residents to get behind the wheel and drive change within the community.
The Performance Kia dealership on Memorial Avenue celebrated the Drive Change Day Tuesday. The second annual fundraising campaign is in support of the Regional Food Distribution Association. Funds raised during the campaign go toward purchasing an industrial food steamer for the RFDA.
Facebook users can also ‘like’ Performance Kia’s Facebook page. With each like, Kia will donate a dollar to the RFDA, with a cap set at $10,000.
Bruno Neiderer, Performance Kia owner, issued a challenge to residents to bring in non-perishable food items for the RFDA as well as donations.
“Eight-hundred Canadians depend on food banks and one in 10 Canadians live in poverty,” Neiderer said.
“We all have to contribute and we all have to help. We all live in a great city and a great environment and when the needy need something we have to do something for them.”
The steam unit costs about $10,000 and the goal of the campaign is to raise $15,000.
Last year, the fundraising campaign raised about $14,000 to purchase a dishwasher for the RFDA.
RFDA president Volker Kromm said the organization is thankful for the support from Kia and added having the steamer will mean they will be able to store locally produced food throughout the winter.
“It allows us to stock fresh produce that we wouldn’t otherwise have or have access to,” Kromm said. “When we do get fresh produce it’s difficult to get it out to the clients in a timely manner. This way, we can process it and store it away. My estimate is we can increase our food input by 35 per cent if we work with farmers. It’s a gradual process so we’re learning this year.”
Two months ago, Performance Kia, Kia Canada and Kia Protect donated $200 for every vehicle sold to the Thunder Bay Disaster Relief Fund for a total of more than $12,000. Neiderer presented the United Way with a cheque on Tuesday.
Carol Bush, 2012 campaign chair for the United Way, said the amount given by Kia shows how everyone is coming together in order to help those who were affected by May’s flooding disaster.
“I know it’s very appreciative to receive this funding because funds that are raised will be matched two-to-one by the province,” Bush said. “It will go a long way to helping those who were severely affected by the flooding disaster in Thunder Bay.”
Residents can also enter to win a chance to see Justin Beiber live in Winnipeg.
With each $5 donation made a ballot will be given for a chance to win. There’s a maximum of 10 ballots per person.
The draw will take place on Aug. 22 on CKPR’s Mornings with Danny and Laura.
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