Danville Mass Transit riders are used to the free giveaways, such as rulers and pens, and free bus rides the day after Thanksgiving.
This year there will be another free giveaway, but riders are being asked to give to others, too.
Riders on all routes on Nov. 23 will receive free blue DMT reusable bags to place food inside to donate to the Salvation Army.
DMT is asking riders to use the blue DMT bag to collect non-perishable food items and donate them to the Salvation Army Emergency Food Pantry by Dec. 31.
In return, riders will receive a free DMT 5-Ride Ticket.
DMT is giving away 2,000 bags. If people want additional bags, a limited supply will be available at the DMT office, 101 N. Jackson St., downtown.
“This is an opportunity for everyone to give,” said DMT director John Metzinger.
Any size of donation can mean a lot to local families, he added.
To donate, take non-perishable food items, such as canned vegetables, peanut butter, spaghetti, canned meats, soups, etc., to the Salvation Army Emergency Shelter, 855 E. Fairchild St.
The shelter is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The shelter, located on the northwest corner of Bowman Avenue and Fairchild Street, is served by DMT routes 4 Bowman, 5 Fairchild and 6 Main/Fairchild.
Regular fare will be required for trips to the Salvation Army. But, if riders make a donation in the blue DMT bag, they will receive a free DMT 5-Ride Ticket directly from the Salvation Army, courtesy of DMT.
Metzinger said the idea for the partnership “was a brainstorming idea” with staff.
He then met with Sharon Sawka with the Salvation Army, who welcomed another opportunity to work with the community, reach another population segment and gain more food donations.
Metzinger said he hopes many riders take part in the DMT’s “Season of Giving.”
Von Aldridge, receptionist at the Salvation Army, adds that the Salvation Army could use any additional food at the food pantry.
“Our food pantry bounces up and down,” Aldridge said about needing donations. “At the end of the month, we can run out of everything.”