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Food Bank on the Edge ramps up holiday fundraising

They are looking to raise funds for about 110 Christmas Hampers
Food Bank on the Edge president Cris Martin says cash is king this holiday season. (Nora O’Malley photo)

With Christmas just around the corner, Food Bank on the Edge is looking for cash donations to put towards about 110 Christmas Hampers.

The food hampers will be distributed on Thursday, Dec. 22 to those who might need some extra food and love during the holiday season. Registration is already underway, and if you know someone who might need a boost, reach out to: (250) 726-6909.

“We don’t empty our shelves at Christmas, we buy everything (for the hampers). Money is very important this time of year. We also anticipate about a 20 per cent increase in the cost of food,” said Food Bank on the Edge president Cris Martin.

She said last year, the average cost of a hamper was about $100, but for this year, they are budgeting about $120 per hamper.

The new and improved website makes donating a cinch, says Martin.

“When you go on the website now, there is a promotion called Giving Tuesday. Every week, we will post a different blurb about the food bank. The donate button is right on there.”

Food Bank on the Edge saw a near double increase in the number of clients this year compared to the amount of people they helped in 2021.

“We’ve also seen a shift in our clients. This year we had a lot of new clients who were immigrants working at the fish plants. We have an influx of non English speaking (clients). We had to make translation sheets,” said Martin.

Any families that register for Christmas Hamper that have children will also get matched with the Re/Max Mid-Island Realty Angel Tree to receive a special age/gender specific gift.

Stuff the Cruiser

Food Bank will team up with the Ucluelet RCMP for the annual Stuff the Cruiser on Saturday, Dec. 3 in front of the Ucluelet Co-op from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Martin says to look out for the ‘Wish List’ on social media, but mostly they are hoping to received cash or gift cards so they can buy toiletries.

“I don’t like to refuse any donation at all, but the focus this time of year is on money. And the community always comes through.”

Project New Building

In June 2021, Ucluelet council committed a parcel of land up a Tugwell Fields for a new Food Bank on the Edge centre. The food bank’s current aging pre-fab structure on Seaplane Base Road is at the end of its lifespan, suffering from mold and structural security.

“Mayco (Noel) is on our board now. His dad gave us this (Seaplane Base) building, so this is going to be perfect that he can carry on that legacy and help us get our new building,” said Martin.

The proposed budget for the new building is about $1.3 million and the specs for the floor plan are not much different than the current building.

“We just need a clean, healthy place to operate,” said Martin.

She went on to note that with a recent $100,000 gift from the AllOne Foundation out of Victoria, the Food Bank on the Edge has enough in their bank account to put a down payment on a building.

“I’m not even worried about the money. We got the land and we have Mayco. He knows how to navigate the district and he has the expertise to make this happen. I couldn’t be more excited,” she said.

RELATED: Food bank usage across Canada hit all-time high, nearly 1.5M visits in March: report

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