Feeding the hungry during the holidays

Jodi Schellenberg
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The Prince Albert Food Bank is preparing for the holidays, busy putting together hampers and planning their Christmas dinner.

“Christmas season, like right now for us, it is kind of slowing down hamper wise a little bit, even serving in the kitchen has cut back a bit but then we are going to be having our Christmas dinner on Dec. 23 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.,” co-manager Kerry Ramsdell said.

Since the Christmas event is coming up, the Food Bank is looking for an important feature in the meal.

“We need turkeys and lots of them,” Ramsdell said. “The bigger the better.”

They also will not turn away any volunteer help for the big dinner, hosting at their building located at 64 11th Street East.

“I know we have the ladies over at the Red Cross said they would come over,” Ramsdell said. “If we do the actual glass dishes, we would need a lot of help doing the dishes.”

Ramsdell said they usually get anywhere from 150 to 200 people at big meals like Christmas dinner, but there may be more this year.

“Now that they don’t have Homes for Homeless, we could end up with more,” Ramsdell said. “I’m going to say closer to 200. It could be less but we are going to go in that area to be on the safe side.”

She also believes hampers will be picking up in the next couple weeks.

“Within the last week of November we had a lot of people coming in trying to get hampers, but they had already gotten for the month,” Ramsdell said. “We will probably end up having a rush this week and maybe next week. We will probably go through a lot of hampers.”

The main items the Food Bank is looking for are cereal, vegetables, canned fruit, puddings, and canned beans.

“Cereal is the main thing we seem to be running short on right now,” Ramsdell said.

Although Christmas is a busy time of year, summer is the busiest time of year, Ramsdell said.

Since there are other ways to get hampers, Christmas isn’t as busy as many people would think.

“They can get Christmas hampers through Salvation Army, a couple churches may be doing them again and the Good Box,” Ramsdell said. “There are other venues they can go to.”

Volunteers are also welcome to stop by the Food Bank and help out during the week.

“We could always use volunteers,” Ramsdell said. “We don’t turn anybody away.”

On Wednesdays a group from the Latter Day Saints and on Thursdays a few retired teachers spend their time at the Food Bank.

“Every other day of the week is pretty much open,” Ramsdell said.

There are also a number of ways to support the Food Bank. Donations can be dropped off at the parking lot doors at the Food Bank and there are many stores and organizations collecting for the before Christmas, like Superstore, Weidner Apartments and many other places.

“We have so many people right now collecting donations for us, it is unbelievable,” Ramsdell said. “I don’t think we had this many last year.”

Organizations: Food Bank, Red Cross, Salvation Army

Geographic location: 64 11th Street East

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