10th Annual Jolly Trolley Delivers Again!
Over its 10-year history, the Jolly Trolley Food Drive has collected almost 19 tons of food and over $23,000! The food drive is held annually by St. Cloud Metro Bus and several partners in Central Minnesota including Townsquare Media, Royal Tire and North Central Bus. In past years, the food drive involved bringing a bus to area grocery stores each night during one week in December and collecting food and cash donations from customers as they enter and exit the stores.
This year the Jolly Trolley was held under very different circumstances and utilizing new strategies. Non-perishable food and cash donations were collected at locations of the partner businesses during a two-week window ending December 20. A web portal was also implemented allowing for online donations. Lastly, large food donations were solicited from major community food distributors and grocery stores.
Food donations, including hundreds of pounds from the local Lunds & Byerlys grocery store and the SpartanNash distribution center in west St. Cloud, blew away all previous totals with a whopping 6,440 lbs. collected! The donations FILLED the historic Metro Bus Fixed Route bus that was used to collect, store and deliver food donations.
Total cash donations were down a bit from last year at $2,580 but still relatively consistent with recent years. Cash donation are also matched at two of the three charities receiving donations, Catholic Charities and Salvation Army, through a grant from the Skalicky Foundation. The third benefactor is Promise Neighborhood of Central MN, a local community center and food shelf that hopped on board the Jolly Trolley in 2017.
Metro Bus CEO Ryan I. Daniel shares the importance of the Jolly Trolley Food Drive. “This year families in our community are experiencing greater needs than usual. The Jolly Trolley serves those most in need with important food resources. Metro Bus and our partners on this mission recognize how crucial having enough food on the table is for area residents, especially this time of year. We are extremely proud that this year yielded the biggest food collection in the history of the event!”
The Jolly Trolley hopes to be back on the road in 2021 but, whatever form it takes, the Trolley will continue to deliver necessary help to families throughout Central Minnesota during the giving time of year.