Food bank braces for cold months

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Christmas is fast approaching, and with it, all the excitement and cheer of the holidays. But for the hundreds in our community who can't make ends meet, the holiday season can be far from joyous.

Many of these families don't have the funds for a meal this Christmas, let alone gifts.

The Flamborough Food Bank is aiming to ease that burden, by launching its annual food drive between now and Christmas.

They're hoping for basic staples as well as special treats for the Christmas Hamper program, in which each family in need receives a turkey with all the trimmings, and other Christmas goodies. In addition to food, the agency needs funding to make the hampers a reality. They buy the turkeys, which can get costly, said manager Gail Bosma.

New this year, the agency is able to accommodate produce. Although space is extremely limited - they only own one fridge - they are appealing to the community to donate vegetables and fruits, like mandarin oranges, for the hamper program. Holiday treats, like hot chocolate, are also welcome.

Christmas also means the launch of the Secret Santa program, which is still in need of sponsors. In this program, a sponsor adopts a family for the holidays. They're provided with a description of the family, and a wish list they've compiled.

Although many sponsors enjoy taking on families with young children, Bosma is urging the community to adopt seniors as well. Many clients are lonely and elderly, with no family or friends to share the holidays.

"These are people who sit at home all alone for Christmas," she said. "With the families, at least they have each other."

In addition to special holiday foods, the shelves are in need of everyday staples. In fact, they count on the Christmas food drive to feed families until summer, Bosma noted.

All non-perishable items are welcome. Items continually in short supply include powdered milk, canned fruits and vegetables, canned pastas, pasta sauces, canned meats, diapers, sugar, juice, peanut butter, jam and toiletries, as well as school snack items, such as granola bars and juice boxes.

Several organizations have already made generous contributions, notably the St. James United Church youth group, which held a successful Halloween food drive.

"It took 10 people to sort it all. It was fantastic," said Bosma, who's hoping that schools and businesses get involved in the drive. She suggests that classes, grades or departments have a competition, to see who can raise more, or use canned goods as part of admission for events.

Individuals can also donate at Sobeys and Fortinos, which have food bank bins available. That program has already brought in 500 bags of groceries.

"Flamborough is so generous," said Bosma.

Although the local need has been holding steady at roughly 100 families, staff at the food bank are bracing for a sharp increase, once winter heating bills start arriving.

"The need is going to be pretty hefty," Bosma said.

With that need growing, the food bank is on the lookout for a new location. They've been outgrowing their current location at the Carlisle United Church for some time, but have been unable to find a suitable home. They're hoping for space in Waterdown, where the majority of their clients are located. They currently use a 12' x 39' trailer, filled to the rafters, and part of the church hall. "We need a big area," noted Bosma.

The food bank also needs some extra help. Bosma is in search of a volunteer for three or four hours each week to tidy up and perform odd jobs through the holiday season. The job requires bending and lifting, so an able body is a must. Although the volunteer position is ideally suited to adults, the Flamborough Food Bank welcomes high school students looking to fulfill their 40-hour community service requirement for their diploma. "I can provide them with as many hours as they need," Bosma said. "There's lots of work."

To volunteer during the Christmas Food Drive, or find out how your business or organization can help, call Bosma at 906-689-8318.

Food bank braces for cold months

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Christmas is fast approaching, and with it, all the excitement and cheer of the holidays. But for the hundreds in our community who can't make ends meet, the holiday season can be far from joyous.

Many of these families don't have the funds for a meal this Christmas, let alone gifts.

The Flamborough Food Bank is aiming to ease that burden, by launching its annual food drive between now and Christmas.

They're hoping for basic staples as well as special treats for the Christmas Hamper program, in which each family in need receives a turkey with all the trimmings, and other Christmas goodies. In addition to food, the agency needs funding to make the hampers a reality. They buy the turkeys, which can get costly, said manager Gail Bosma.

New this year, the agency is able to accommodate produce. Although space is extremely limited - they only own one fridge - they are appealing to the community to donate vegetables and fruits, like mandarin oranges, for the hamper program. Holiday treats, like hot chocolate, are also welcome.

Christmas also means the launch of the Secret Santa program, which is still in need of sponsors. In this program, a sponsor adopts a family for the holidays. They're provided with a description of the family, and a wish list they've compiled.

Although many sponsors enjoy taking on families with young children, Bosma is urging the community to adopt seniors as well. Many clients are lonely and elderly, with no family or friends to share the holidays.

"These are people who sit at home all alone for Christmas," she said. "With the families, at least they have each other."

In addition to special holiday foods, the shelves are in need of everyday staples. In fact, they count on the Christmas food drive to feed families until summer, Bosma noted.

All non-perishable items are welcome. Items continually in short supply include powdered milk, canned fruits and vegetables, canned pastas, pasta sauces, canned meats, diapers, sugar, juice, peanut butter, jam and toiletries, as well as school snack items, such as granola bars and juice boxes.

Several organizations have already made generous contributions, notably the St. James United Church youth group, which held a successful Halloween food drive.

"It took 10 people to sort it all. It was fantastic," said Bosma, who's hoping that schools and businesses get involved in the drive. She suggests that classes, grades or departments have a competition, to see who can raise more, or use canned goods as part of admission for events.

Individuals can also donate at Sobeys and Fortinos, which have food bank bins available. That program has already brought in 500 bags of groceries.

"Flamborough is so generous," said Bosma.

Although the local need has been holding steady at roughly 100 families, staff at the food bank are bracing for a sharp increase, once winter heating bills start arriving.

"The need is going to be pretty hefty," Bosma said.

With that need growing, the food bank is on the lookout for a new location. They've been outgrowing their current location at the Carlisle United Church for some time, but have been unable to find a suitable home. They're hoping for space in Waterdown, where the majority of their clients are located. They currently use a 12' x 39' trailer, filled to the rafters, and part of the church hall. "We need a big area," noted Bosma.

The food bank also needs some extra help. Bosma is in search of a volunteer for three or four hours each week to tidy up and perform odd jobs through the holiday season. The job requires bending and lifting, so an able body is a must. Although the volunteer position is ideally suited to adults, the Flamborough Food Bank welcomes high school students looking to fulfill their 40-hour community service requirement for their diploma. "I can provide them with as many hours as they need," Bosma said. "There's lots of work."

To volunteer during the Christmas Food Drive, or find out how your business or organization can help, call Bosma at 906-689-8318.

Food bank braces for cold months

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Christmas is fast approaching, and with it, all the excitement and cheer of the holidays. But for the hundreds in our community who can't make ends meet, the holiday season can be far from joyous.

Many of these families don't have the funds for a meal this Christmas, let alone gifts.

The Flamborough Food Bank is aiming to ease that burden, by launching its annual food drive between now and Christmas.

They're hoping for basic staples as well as special treats for the Christmas Hamper program, in which each family in need receives a turkey with all the trimmings, and other Christmas goodies. In addition to food, the agency needs funding to make the hampers a reality. They buy the turkeys, which can get costly, said manager Gail Bosma.

New this year, the agency is able to accommodate produce. Although space is extremely limited - they only own one fridge - they are appealing to the community to donate vegetables and fruits, like mandarin oranges, for the hamper program. Holiday treats, like hot chocolate, are also welcome.

Christmas also means the launch of the Secret Santa program, which is still in need of sponsors. In this program, a sponsor adopts a family for the holidays. They're provided with a description of the family, and a wish list they've compiled.

Although many sponsors enjoy taking on families with young children, Bosma is urging the community to adopt seniors as well. Many clients are lonely and elderly, with no family or friends to share the holidays.

"These are people who sit at home all alone for Christmas," she said. "With the families, at least they have each other."

In addition to special holiday foods, the shelves are in need of everyday staples. In fact, they count on the Christmas food drive to feed families until summer, Bosma noted.

All non-perishable items are welcome. Items continually in short supply include powdered milk, canned fruits and vegetables, canned pastas, pasta sauces, canned meats, diapers, sugar, juice, peanut butter, jam and toiletries, as well as school snack items, such as granola bars and juice boxes.

Several organizations have already made generous contributions, notably the St. James United Church youth group, which held a successful Halloween food drive.

"It took 10 people to sort it all. It was fantastic," said Bosma, who's hoping that schools and businesses get involved in the drive. She suggests that classes, grades or departments have a competition, to see who can raise more, or use canned goods as part of admission for events.

Individuals can also donate at Sobeys and Fortinos, which have food bank bins available. That program has already brought in 500 bags of groceries.

"Flamborough is so generous," said Bosma.

Although the local need has been holding steady at roughly 100 families, staff at the food bank are bracing for a sharp increase, once winter heating bills start arriving.

"The need is going to be pretty hefty," Bosma said.

With that need growing, the food bank is on the lookout for a new location. They've been outgrowing their current location at the Carlisle United Church for some time, but have been unable to find a suitable home. They're hoping for space in Waterdown, where the majority of their clients are located. They currently use a 12' x 39' trailer, filled to the rafters, and part of the church hall. "We need a big area," noted Bosma.

The food bank also needs some extra help. Bosma is in search of a volunteer for three or four hours each week to tidy up and perform odd jobs through the holiday season. The job requires bending and lifting, so an able body is a must. Although the volunteer position is ideally suited to adults, the Flamborough Food Bank welcomes high school students looking to fulfill their 40-hour community service requirement for their diploma. "I can provide them with as many hours as they need," Bosma said. "There's lots of work."

To volunteer during the Christmas Food Drive, or find out how your business or organization can help, call Bosma at 906-689-8318.