BISBEE — Though the Bisbee Fire Department had to break with tradition and forego the annual Thanksgiving food drive due to the increase in COVID-19 positive cases, the firefighters will still be accepting food and toys for Christmas.

“We’re guessing people will need a lot of help,” said firefighter/EMT Robert Cline. “Our community needs us and the Bisbee Firefighter Union L–2146 will answer that call, whatever it takes. We anticipate a record number of families and individuals in need this year. This is a very difficult time to organize an event this large, but it will be done.”

Cline said the firefighters will make every effort to maintain social distancing to keep risk the risk as low as possible.

Normally, the department fulfills over 100 requests, though last year there were only 80 families who applied.

Each year, the Department of Economic Security screens people who apply for the assistance. Applications are now being taken. People can fill out an application at DES until 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18.

Toys and food will be distributed at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22, at the Highway 92 station.

Anyone wishing to donate money, toys for boys and girls from birth to 12 years old can leave the new, unwrapped toys at either the fire station on Highway 92 or the one on Tombstone Canyon in Old Bisbee.

Nonperishable food can also be dropped there or at one of the holiday decorated bins and boxes at various locations around the city, he added.

The supporters will call the BFD when the bins are full and bring the donations back to the station, he added.

To participate in the drive, just visit any of the locations listed and drop off donations to make Christmas Day a happy one for Bisbee’s less fortunate.

The Copper Queen Library is also helping the food drive by allowing people who have late fees on books to donate food to pay for them. One can will give the donor $1 off the fines. The library will also accept non-perishable food.

For information call 520-432-4110 or 520- 432-6022.