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Your holiday shopping list might sound a lot like what’s going into the Regina Food Bank’s Christmas hamper: turkey or ham, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, onions, stuffing, bacon, eggs, cereal and a few sweet treats.
The Food Bank is relying on donations to be prepared for 1,800 families across the community.
What’s in the hamper?
Regina Food Bank CEO Steve Compton said the hampers that workers and volunteers prepare for Christmas delivery are different from their usual fare. These crates of fresh produce are waiting for workers to sort them. Fresh items are a key element of the Regina Food Bank’s Christmas Hampers. (Tory Gillis/CBC) We want to include the best for you, fresh, so that families can share in the traditional holiday dinner—whatever their tradition is.”– Steve Compton, Regina Food Bank CEO
“What we try and do at Christmas time is ‘fresh’—you know, it’s the things you can’t easily donate. You can’t really throw a turkey in the bin at your local grocery store. So we go out and we actually purchase those,” Compton said.
Here’s what is inside a Food Bank Christmas hamper:
- A ham or turkey
- lettuce and items to make salad
- instant stuffing mixA Regina Food Bank worker shows most of the items that will go into this year’s Christmas hampers. They’ll also contain either a turkey or a ham. (Tory Gillis/CBC)
- other fresh produce
- something sweet, such as cookies or candy
Each of the hampers contains about $75 worth of food. Compton says the Food Bank’s workers also try to accommodate any special dietary needs or restrictions people have.
‘The support is so critical this time of year’
By Tuesday afternoon, people contributing to CBC’s Comfort and Joy Campaign contributed $29,035 to Saskatchewan Food Banks. PotashCorp is also matching each dollar with a donation of its own. Added to other community donations and events, Compton says the Regina Food Bank is confident it will be able to meet its clients’ food needs this year.
He added their hampers aren’t just for Christmas dinner.This stockpile of instant stuffing will find its way into Christmas hampers soon. (Tory Gillis/CBC)
“We also try to include a bit of food that lasts for those few days after the Christmas holidays so that when services aren’t as available and the offices are closed, there’s going to be food on the table for families across the community,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re not leaving any families without over that time.”
Food donations welcome, too
The Regina Food Bank estimates it will take approximately $135,000 dollars to ‘beat the need’ for families in Regina alone. Compton is optimistic that donors in the community will help them meet that demand.
He said many people ask whether it’s better to donate food or funds to the Food Bank.
“At this time of year with that (PotashCorp donation) match and our ability to stretch the dollars with some of our friends in the food business, a financial donation goes a little further,” he said. “It’s a great time to give.”
In general, though, Compton says food donations are always welcome as well. You can also donate your time as a volunteer by calling the Regina Food Bank and asking for Lori. Otherwise, contact your nearest Saskatchewan food bank.