There is an increased need for Christmas hampers in the Ste. Anne area this year.
Armande Leclair manages Accueil Kateri Centre, Ste. Anne’s food bank. She says they always provide hampers for their registered regulars and those numbers have gone up.
“We have, right now, over 100 people that are registered at the food bank which is an increase. Last year at this time, for Christmas hampers we had 84 and this year we are at 100 plus.”
In total, Leclair says they expect to pack over 150 hampers this year compared to the 122 they put together in 2021. She notes their numbers aren’t set quite yet as they still have a few last-minute applications to process.
Meanwhile, Leclair says ordering and preparing hampers has been unusually challenging this year.
“We started buying in the beginning of October because of the supply. Usually, we would wait until the week before and we were able to get everything we needed but now it is a different story. You have to order early because you are not sure if you are going to get that order in on time."
All of the food that goes into the Christmas hampers is purchased directly from suppliers. Leclair says “We have to buy because if we use what we have at the food bank we are going to clear out our shelves.”
Leclair notes it is also more efficient because they can order in bulk and get discounts at many stores. She adds they still need quite a lot of money to cover the cost of this year’s hampers and they are hoping for an influx of donations now that we are in December.
Many of the toys for the hampers have been collected by local organizations including a toy drive by Phoenix Cheer Athletics as part of Ste. Anne's Main Street Christmas last weekend.
The Ste. Anne food bank covers both the Town of Ste. Anne and the RM of Ste. Anne. Christmas hampers will be ready for pick up on Saturday, December 17th.