As the holiday season is now just around the corner, local charitable organizations around Cranbrook are increasing their efforts, striving to provide support to those who need it most on the holidays, but their work continues throughout the year.
One such organization is the Cranbrook Food Bank Society. The Townsman stopped by Monday, November 27 as they were busy preparing hampers for the day.
“Things always slow down at the end of the month,” said Food Bank manager Gerry Oviatt, “but we’re making up hampers today and it will probably be about 25 to 30 hampers. And that’s kind of what we get near the end of the month.”
Oviatt stated that their monthly average is around 450 hampers, which equates to 900 to 950 people provided for.
“That includes the adults and children,” Oviatt said. “Because we get singles, we get couples, we get full-size families and everything in between.”
In addition to their monthly workload, with Christmas coming up next month, things will indeed be ramping up around the already bustling establishment.
“Of course we’re doing extra things during the Christmas season too,” Oviatt explained. “We’re doing some turkeys and hams on the week just before Christmas so that will be a real busy week for turkeys and hams plus regular hampers as well, so that’s kind of how we work it out at Christmas time.”
Oviatt said that he’s really proud of the community that supports the food bank and his numerous volunteers who work behind the scenes to make the hamper program a reality.
“Everybody that works here is strictly volunteers, there’s nobody that’s with paid positions or anything like that so we got people from all walks of life,” he said. “We’ve got medical people that have retired, we’ve got an ex-policeman that’s retired now, business people, all kinds of different people from different walks of life and it’s just a great group that actually works here and does this volunteer work.”
He added that the community itself has done a great job itself and has helped them to carry on year after year.
The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce’s Turkey Drive is in full swing collecting “virtual turkeys.” Rather than donating an actual bird, you can help by donating $20 — all donations will be split between the Food Bank and the Salvation Army. Their big Turkey Drive day takes place on Thursday, December 7, but donations will be accepted until December 21.