Another Christmas season has come and gone, and Cranbrook Food Bank manager Gerry Oviatt says that the community did a great job not only getting through the holidays, but setting them up for the first months of the new year.
“The community did well, they actually came together and really supported us again this year, and so we really appreciate what’s happening around this town, it’s great,” Oviatt said.
The annual Turkey Drive brought in around $20,000 to just the Food Bank so far, with more cheques still to come as pledges still continue to come in to the Chamber of Commerce, with another equal amount going to the Salvation Army.
“That really carries us well into the new year to help us buy the things that we need for the next three or four months,” Oviatt said. “That’s kind of how we work it, because things get kind of quiet in the new year for a while because everybody’s recuperating from Christmas and that type of thing.”
Despite the needed post-holiday recuperation, Oviatt said that the Food Bank is in good shape.
“We just love the way things have come together again this year to help us accomplish our goals,” he said. “So we’re actually in good shape and we’re doing, on average, we’re still feeding around 800 to 850 people in a month and that works out to about 400 hampers in a month — 425 some months that we actually make up.”
Throughout the month of December they added two working days to their usual three-day work-week, but didn’t stay open over the holidays. Instead, they had a few people coming in and out periodically throughout the break to set out items like bread and sweets — food that would keep in the winter weather that clients could still draw from.
They still made their pickups from places around town like Safeway, Superstore, Walmart, Tim Hortons and Little Caesar’s.
The Christmas season once again highlights the hard work Oviatt and his team at the Food Bank do all year round, and the generosity of the community came through for another year, carrying them from the holidays into the following months.