Christmas hampers full of food and love from local community

Full of food and good cheer – Stettler Christmas Hamper Society and volunteers packed and distributed 130 hampers for adults and children on Dec. 21 and 22 at Stettler Community Hall.

Over 100 Christmas hampers were filled with food and love from the community for local residents not so fortunate during these tough economic times.

Stettler Christmas Hamper Society distributed 130 hampers, down slightly from 137 last year.

“A lot of families who received Christmas hampers last year moved out of the community,” said Cindy MacDonell, Christmas food hamper coordinator for Stettler and District Family and Community Support Services.

Considering that last year’s figure of 137 hampers was up 30 per cent from the previous year, the economy seems to be on the way to a recovery although its hasn’t reached a strong point, she added.

Despite, the sluggish economy, local residents continue to show why this region is the Heart of Alberta.

“Stettler is still a giving and generous community even during an economic downturn,” said MacDonell.

“We were overflowing with gifts.”

Accepting cash donations for food only, the Christmas hamper society buys all the food locally.

Besides food, the hampers also include other special gifts for the recipients, such as toys for children.

Serving the community year-round, Stettler and District Food Bank has also been in high demand this year.

“We have distributed an average of about 120 to 125 hampers a month, which is similar to last year,” said Kathy Willis, executive director.

That’s up significantly from 92 in 2008.

“We hope the economy starts to pick up, but if not we’ll definitely be ready.”

Stettler food bank relies on donations of citizens, businesses and organizations in the community since provincial and federal governments do not fund food banks.

Shelves at the food banks always seem to be filled.

“The community is very generous,” said Willis.

“Smaller donations certainly help and we trust the community will continue to support the food bank.”

Cash donations help the food bank purchase perishable products such as milk, eggs and meat.

For more information, phone Willis at 403-742-4567.

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