Representatives from the three ambulance companies and Mission staff

This morning’s siren and light parade marked the culmination of the 12th annual Drive Away Hunger campaign spearheaded by NorthStar EMS. Each year the organization invites other private ambulance companies in Jefferson County to participate in the food drive, an effort it hopes will make an impact in the lives of those who need it most. LifeGuard Ambulance and Shoals Ambulance joined NorthStar in this year’s effort.

The goal is for an ambulance from each fleet to be filled with food items donated by the first responders and various community partners. Those items are then brought to the Mission in an “emergency delivery.” Brent Dierking with NorthStar business development said that the drive “provides a bit of friendly competition between the companies that ultimately serves a great cause.”

Brent Dierking talks with the media during the delivery

This special delivery not only provides the kitchen staff with immediate supplies, but also helps ensure that meals can continue to be served for just $1.95 each. Mission executive director emeritus Tony Cooper stressed the importance of donations and volunteering to the success of the Mission as a whole. Without partnerships like those forged through the Drive Away Hunger effort, serving individuals in need would be increasingly difficult.

Tony Cooper talks about the importance of donations with the media

NorthStar partnered with Herzing University and several health facilities including Birmingham Nursing and Rehab East, North Hill, South Haven, South Health and Rehab, Oak Knoll Health and Rehab, Arlington Health Rehab, Birmingham Nursing and Rehab Forestdale, Cherry Hill Healthcare, Eastview Healthcare, Northway Health and Rehab, and the Civic Center in the drive.