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Fort Sask. Food Bank’s 38th annual Christmas Hamper and Toy Campaign Open House Thursday

The Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank will launch their 38th annual Christmas Hamper and Toy Campaign with an open house on Thursday, November 2nd between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“Community members who are interested in volunteering over the holidays can come in and sign up for a shift,” said Kassandra Gartner, Executive Director of the food bank.

Volunteers will spend time participating in the collection drives at local grocery stores, including Safeway, Co-op, and Freson Bros. stores Gartner said.

“We will have our in-store donation team in those stores different weeks throughout November and December, accepting donations.

There are two-hour shifts Monday through Friday. There’s a really great time dress up and be festive and work your shift with a friend and just represent the food bank and collect donations,

“It’s fun. It’s festive. You’re representing the food bank. It’s an opportunity to kind of, you know, have a coffee or a hot chocolate,” she said.

The food bank will also have volunteering shifts available within the food bank as well, located at 11226 88th Avenue, Fort Saskatchewan, but “a lot of our community like their annual time to support the food bank while we are in the grocery stores,” Gartner added.

The Christmas Hamper and Toy Campaign goes a long way to supporting the food banks efforts into the new year.

“The food that we are collecting now over the holiday season actually supports our hamper programs into January and February,” Gartner said.

“In order for us to have our hampers to be equitable … we purchase a significant amount of food, so we’re supplementing the food that we purchased with our donated product,

“And our big food drives in November and December really are supporting the Food bank through January and February,” Gartner said.

“We are really looking forward to our holiday season. We are hoping that our community is able to generously support us. We are anticipating a higher number of applicants than previous years. We understand that it’s been really tough for our community over the last 12 months and we really want the message to be shared that help is available.”

If community members are struggling to make ends meet and need assistance from the Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank, an application is posted on their website.