GALLERY | Christmas spirit rolls through Fairfield

More than 200 trolleys filled with non-perishable food – and a whole bunch of community spirit – made their way through the Fairfield CBD for the 15th annual Christmas Trolley Drive on Friday.

Led by the Royal Australian Navy band, the parade of trolleys made their way from Starr Partners Real Estate Fairfield on Station Street to the Fairfield Uniting Church diner on the corner of Harris and William Streets.

The donated food helps stocks the shelves of the diner for the entire year. Each week they prepare on average 250 meals a week on Monday and Wednesday for those in need and have served more than 225,000 meals in the last 15 years.

Starr Partners Fairfield real estate agent and trolley drive organiser Tom Murphy spoke about the “community spirit” the trolley drive generates at the start of the event which was attended by businesses, politicians, community groups and schools.

This year a record 22 schools took part in the event with the three original schools – Governor Philip King Public School, Smithfield West and William Stimson Public Schools – cutting a cake to celebrate the milestone.

A trolley was pushed in memory of the late Margaret “Cookie” Thurston – the former cook at the Uniting Church soup kitchen – who inspired the event which started with 54 trolleys in its first year.

“I bumped into a lovely lady on the street, who was the cook at the Uniting Church diner,” Mr Murphy said.

“Her name was Margaret “Cookie” Thurston, and together, we came up with the idea of the trolley drive.

“The drive is about bringing people together and teaching the kids about the importance of helping others during Christmas. I’ve seen some kids grow from kindergarten to high school, and it’s fantastic that their passion to help the less fortunate is still there.”