York City firefighter Shawn Firestone delivers an Easter food donation with Assistant Fire Chief Greg Altland, left, at the York residence of Glenda
York City firefighter Shawn Firestone delivers an Easter food donation with Assistant Fire Chief Greg Altland, left, at the York residence of Glenda Williams. (Bill Kalina photo)

With sunny skies and a chill in the wind Friday, dozens of York area firefighters and volunteers set out to bring Easter cheer to families in the city.

The York Professional Firefighters Association and volunteers are distributing goods from its Easter food drive to 35 families in York City.

They rolled up with a huge fire engine, a truck with red and white flashing lights and several other cars. As they hauled food and Easter baskets to the families and their children, a pink Easter bunny in firefighter overalls directed traffic and greeted the kids.

The drive amassed 2,400 pounds - quite literally a ton - of food, said Greg Altland, assistant chief of York Fire/Rescue Services. And all of it was donated.

Henesie Bowie, 2, clutches a donated Easter basket in the arms of her grandmother Glenda Williams at Williams’ York City home after city firefighters
Henesie Bowie, 2, clutches a donated Easter basket in the arms of her grandmother Glenda Williams at Williams' York City home after city firefighters made a delivery of Easter goodies. (Bill Kalinaphoto)

Key meal items featured ham, potatoes, eggs, milk, vegetables and cake mix for the families to prepare and save for leftovers. The Easter baskets came packed with candy, coloring books, new toothbrushes and stuffed animals.

The firefighters also checked each home to see if smoke detectors needed new batteries and quickly addressed any issues, Altland said.

Response: Charles Wallick and his family received Easter meals, and his three children got their very own baskets.

"It's great," he said of the food drive. "It's good for families who do need it."

Altland said he was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support from the community, as well as the amount of time and effort people put into the event.

"The businesses really stepped up," he said. Local businesses donated gift cards, groceries and cash toward the food drive.

The Easter food drive was the first of its kind for the company, but Altland said the community can expect more to come.

"This is pretty much going to be a year-round effort for us," Altland said.

He said the company plans to hold similar drives for veterans, the elderly and local food banks.

The drive will finish up on Holy Saturday, when it will make its way to the doorsteps of 14 more families.