Just one month to Christmas – and the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton says demand is up this year for help with Christmas dinner.
Executive director Darlene Kowalchuk said on November 24 that she is expecting a busy few weeks making sure everyone on the bureau’s list gets the makings for a good meal. “We are definitely up about 12 per cent for the number of people coming to us for help. We expect the next two weeks is when we will see our biggest crunch of people coming. And it’s people who normally haven’t turned to us for help. Families who have been laid off, or otherwise hit by the economy and aren’t being able to make ends meet. And the other big increase we have seen this year is seniors.”
The Christmas Bureau makes sure people get something special. “In our traditional hampers, they get the turkey or the ham, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, mandarin oranges, fruitcake, and some Christmas cookies. Plus they also get some additional stuff to help them through the rest of the Christmas week. Peanut butter, coffee, tea, jam, soups, juices – things like that.”
“Many of our clients, because of their different traditions, don’t necessarily have a turkey dinner for Christmas Eve. So we will give them gift cards to Sobeys, which are good at Safeway and Sobeys, where they can buy whatever their tradition is.”
The Christmas Bureau of Edmonton works with other agencies as well, including Edmonton’s Food Bank, to make sure they are not duplicating efforts. To donate, or find out about volunteer opportunities, go to ChristmasBureau.ca (eb)