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Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank Dealing with Greater Need for Christmas Hamper Program

The Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank has offered some troubling statistics highlighting that more people need support this year versus last year.

Applications to the Christmas hamper program jumped by almost 36 per cent year over year from 2021 to 2022.

While the application to join the Christmas hamper list remains open, the Food Bank is seeing another 16 per cent surge in requests for help from 2022 to 2023.

“There is a bigger need in our community. We all know the cost … of groceries is right through the sky,” April Jennings, the food bank’s lead volunteer for its food recovery team, told Rob Christie in the Morning on Edmonton’s Official Christmas Station, MIX 107.9.

“A Christmas hamper can just bring a little bit of that extra joy and fill a need during the Christmas season.” Jennings said.

Listen to the entire interview here:

Food bank volunteers will be at North Central Co-op on 99th Avenue this week from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. to accept donations in partnership with their Good Buy To Hunger campaign, which runs until December 6.

“Well, we’re always accepting cash donations and then we can put that money directly to specific needs,” Jennings said.

During the campaign, for every $10 donated to the food bank at Co-op, the store will chip in another $1.

The Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank is always looking for certain staple goods such as instant oatmeal, coffee, ready to eat soup, sugar, pasta sauce, and Knorr Sidekicks.

It is also looking for donations to round out gifts for kids under 17 to include in Christmas hampers.

“We are accepting unwrapped gifts. I think some of the biggest needs right now might be for teens. So gift certificates to fast food joints, or Walmart, $20 or $25 increments. Books are always welcome, especially teen books.

“We always accept markers, crayons, colouring books, headphones, like earbuds, for teens.”

Christmas hampers are intended to support families and individuals for three weeks, Jennings said, including non-perishables, root vegetables, cereal, and soups, in addition to a full Christmas dinner and a Christmas breakfast, including, “bacon and eggs and juice, pancakes and syrup as well.” Jennings said.

If there are children in the home and an application can be made for a gift for every child 17 and under.

Hampers will be delivered to recipients on December 16.

Applications to receive a Christmas hamper can be found on the Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank’s website.

If you can help, the Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank is also accepting donations directly at their location on 11226 88 Avenue, Fort Saskatchewan, which is off 112 Street.

Below: photo in featured image borrowed from Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank’s Facebook page.

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