Manitoulin Family Resources calls for help

Manitoulin Family Resources’ Manitoulin Food Bank is hoping Islanders will again help them raise $55,000 toward its annual campaign. Shutterstock

Anticipates record number of Christmas hampers to fill

MINDEMOYA – With an increase in the number of requests Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) receives for food in general, it is anticipated that they could see a corresponding increase in requests for Christmas food baskets.

“I expect there will be an increase in the number of requests for the Christmas food baskets,” said Marnie Hall, executive director of MFR, last week. “We have seen an increase in the number of requests for food in general so I expect an increase as well for the Christmas food baskets.”

“Food Ontario had predicted that it would be 18 months before we would see an increase in the cost of food (with the pandemic) and we have now seen this increase. As benefits and incomes remain the same or decrease, people are not able to keep up with these cost increases.”

In a letter to all Manitoulin agencies, business and individuals who normally provide donations towards the Christmas baskets campaign Ms. Hall explained, “Christmas time is around the corner once again and Manitoulin Family Resources Emergency Food Assistance Program has started the preparations for the 2021 Christmas food basket campaign.” 

The Food Bank and Thrift Store has been providing emergency and seasonal food supports to the residents of Manitoulin district for over 35 years. “Last year, thanks to the generosity of community members, businesses and organizations, our expectations were surpassed. $56,495.09 was raised, and  was put towards the cost of generating 1,002 baskets and gifts for families and individuals in need,” wrote Ms. Hall.

Each basket is tailored to the size of the family and includes a turkey or ham, a generous supply of seasonal food and other food products. In past years, baskets have also included gifts for all children and teens, as well as some winter apparel (hats and mittens) for adults and children.

“We hope to, once again, raise a minimum of $55,000 during this year’s Christmas campaign to meet increasing demands, as well as the increased cost of food and transportation. Any surplus funds from the campaign will be used to meet the food security needs throughout the rest of the year,” continued Ms. Hall.  “Please be assured that your donations are used responsibly. Given the state of a global pandemic, and finding ourselves already in the fourth wave, we acknowledge that this year’s campaign will again be quite different. While planning will need to continue to evolve as we move forward, we intend to provide as we are able to for Christmas.”

For those who would like to contribute to the Christmas campaign, monetary donations are greatly appreciated and can be mailed to the MFR office P.O. Box 181 Mindemoya, Ontario POP ISO. Please make cheques payable to ‘Manitoulin Family Resources’ and indicate on the memo line ‘Christmas Basket Campaign 2021.’ MFR is unable to accept in-person monetary donations at its offices at this time. 

If you prefer an online option, you can donate via CanadaHelps.org by visiting www.mfresources.net and clicking on the ‘Donate Now’ at the top left side of the page to link you to their donation site. 

Christmas baskets will be prepared and disseminated within communities during December 6-17.