Cranbrook Food Bank volunteers were hard at work this week get turkeys

Cranbrook Food Bank readying hampers, turkeys, hams

The Cranbrook Food Bank Society was busy working through the week to get turkeys, hams and food hampers out to people in need in Cranbrook.

The Cranbrook Food Bank Society was busy working through the week to get turkeys, hams and food hampers out to people in need in Cranbrook.

“We do the regular hampers all through December, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, between 10 and 3,” said Gerry Oviatt, from the Cranbrook Food Bank Society. “That’s what we do all year long and included in December. November 14 is actually when we started handing out vouchers for turkeys and hams.”

They have prepared for 420 turkeys to be given out. He said on Tuesday the food bank gave out 180 turkeys and hams. People had the option of going in either Tuesday or Thursday. He said there are about 240 more vouchers out there. The food bank gives out the vouchers from November to Dec. 17.

“We give a voucher to a single person,” he said. “Accordingly if there’s a single parent, or a couple with kids.”

He said the bigger families get to take home a bigger turkey. The larger size turkeys average around 20 – 22 pounds. The smaller size ones are about 7 – 12 pounds.

“We had quite a few turkeys donated to us, but we are still prepared to buy them,” he said. “We were actually pretty well prepared for turkeys this year. We’ve been buying them and watching them in the stores as they come on sale.”

Oviatt said they have been averaging 800 patrons per month. Of those, 500 would be adults and that includes ones that have kids and ones that are single.”

They average 30,000 pounds of food coming in and going out per month.

“That’s a lot of food,” he said. “We pick up food from all the big businesses in town. That’s all the major grocery stores, department stores and stuff like that that supply us with goods.”

He said donations have been good this year, with around $40,000 from the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce turkey drive and $12,000 from the Banker’s Auction being split between the food bank and the Salvation Army.

“And we’ve had some big donors from businesses around town too this year that have put some big sized cheques into our accounts,” he said.

“And people in town have been super this year as far as donators bringing food in — canned and dry goods — it’s been steady this month.”

He said volunteers are something they always need.

“We can always use volunteers on any given day from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays,” he said.

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