For 17 years, firefighters with Benton County Fire District #4 have been collecting food for families in need. They do things a little differently though.
On Saturday night, they decorated their fire trucks with holiday lights and drove down four designated routes in West Richland, handing out candy canes in exchange for a non-perishable item. The mission name--Operation Candy Cane. "You get two aspects. Not only do you get to reach out to your community but then once we gather the food, sort it out and work with who we're giving the food out to, we see that side of it too," said Capt. Paul Carlyle, Benton County District #4 firefighter.
Carlyle and another firefighter started this program. In the beginning, there was only one route. Now, it's grown, with a fourth one being added this year.
The food collected goes directly to Catholic Charities, who hands out the food to families and other organizations in need. Last year, they fed 65 families.