What started out small eight years ago with only two families helped, has grown into a program that will help over 60 families this holiday season.
Program Coordinator Krystal Townsend explains the program started when she and her mom Heather put a call out to the community to give them their unused “Turkey Bucks” that Foodland used to give out over the holidays to people who shopped at their store. “We ended up with about 300 in two days,” Townsend says which, along with $40 they raised, went to buying turkeys and providing food for families that needed it.
“Every year it has grown,” she says. Last year 47 hampers were given out and this year they have already handed out 63 applications. She says they can service 64 families now with the funding they have now, but with more donations that will help them reach more.
If you would like to donate, you will get your chance to do that this weekend. The Holiday Hamper team will be set-up in front of No Frills on Friday from 6 PM until 9, and again on Saturday from 9 AM until noon. “Our program runs strictly on donations from community members,” Townsend says. She adds that all that donate will be entered into a draw to win a $50 grocery card from No Frills.
“We’ve been there,” Townsend says when asked why she wanted to start the program. “We’ve been in that position where you have to decide whether you want to buy groceries or gifts for your children.”
Townsend explains that it’s not just turkeys they give out, but entire holiday dinner. “Not only eating but preparing the dinner is a tradition for some families,” she says.
Program Administrator Heather Sararas tells My Bancroft Now that Maggie’s Resource Centre is involved and will handle the financial side of things, including giving out tax receipts.
If you would like to register for the program, you need to call Krystal at 613-334-2588 or Heather at 613-442-0004. Townsend adds that they are the only two that will see the names of those registered. Every person that signs up is assigned a number, which is what the volunteers use to get everything organized.