Local volunteers are making sure everyone is able to have Christmas this year.
The Minden Christmas Hamper Program, run through the Minden Community Food Centre, is keeping 300 adults and 189 children stocked through the holidays.
Joanne Barnes, who coordinates the program, says each hamper contains supplies for a turkey or ham dinner, a week’s groceries, fresh fruits and vegetables, and toys for the kids.
“Without this program, all of these children would not have Christmas,” says Barnes. “[It] was recognized years ago that there are families that just aren’t able to come up with the extra funds to be able to have a Christmas dinner and some toys for their children.”
According to Barnes, they were short on toys coming into this week– but once word got out to the community, it was quickly taken care of.
“Toys started coming in Monday and Tuesday, and we are completely covered now,” says Barnes. “This is a wonderful community, and when they are made aware there is a shortage of something, everybody steps up.”
Barnes says she’s heard from the food bank that 15 to 18 per cent more clients are using its services this year. However, she says the community is always willing to take care of its own.
“I would like to extend my thanks to this wonderful community that we all live in,” says Barnes. “In the community you have extreme wealth but also extreme poverty, but at times like this the community opens their arms and helps those that need our help. And that’s the greatest blessing of living here.”