Warmest Gratitude for 2022 Holiday Season
As we settle into the start of the new year, we wanted to recognize the generosity of those who helped support the Food Bank and Christmas Bureau through the holiday season! Over the month of December, the Food Bank was able to facilitate the Christmas Bureau program thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our community. The program has two different community elements. One, the opportunity to directly impact a family or senior by sponsoring them and through donations so we can provide food and gifts so that everyone can experience the holiday.
Sponsorship – Bringing Cheer to Families and Seniors
We want to extend a special thank you to individuals, businesses, and organizations who directly sponsored families and seniors this year.
Over 240 individuals, businesses and organizations directly sponsored more than 350 families and seniors through the Christmas Bureau. That’s over 1,000 people served!
Here at the Christmas Bureau, we recognize that serving as a sponsor is not a small undertaking. It requires significant time to connect with families and seniors, complete shopping lists, and deliver items directly to recipients. This doesn’t even factor in the financial contributions of purchasing food and gifts! The gracious spirit of Christmas Bureau sponsors is truly heartwarming, and we are grateful for the positive difference they have made in the lives of so many people in our community during the Christmas season.
“If it wasn’t for this program, we wouldn’t have been able to celebrate it at all…we didn’t know how we were going to manage to celebrate or provide any gifts for our son…Our sponsor went above and beyond, and I couldn’t help but cry that my young son was able to make memories opening gifts and having pure excitement watching him be able to celebrate a holiday we love.” – Sponsored Family
“The sponsor who sponsored me and my family gave us such a wonderful Christmas and brought tears and joy to our hearts this holiday season, if it wasn’t for the sponsor who helped us our Christmas wouldn’t have been as amazing as we have struggled this season with a lot. It brought so much joy to my children who were absolutely grateful for all the gifts they received and the Christmas dinner we were able to have together! I am truly thankful for the family who helped make that happen for us!” – Sponsored Family
Thank you, sponsors! We appreciate you!
Toy Room – Merry and Bright
Once again, the Toy Room was a bustling, lively place during the holiday season. Through the Toys for Tots event, various toy drives initiated by businesses and organizations, and generous donations from countless individuals, the Toy Room was consistently supplied with gifts for children and teens.
“I enjoyed the company of all those I interacted with during the process, thanks for all the help and for your generosity and kindness.” – Toy Room Recipient
“It was a very enjoyable experience, no one made me feel less than for going it was a very nice set up and everyone there was very kind.” – Toy Room Recipient
We are so grateful for the amazing contributions from so many wonderful supporters. Your generous giving enabled the collection of thousands of toys to distribute for Christmas. Thank you for helping brighten the holidays for so many children in our community!
Food Bank – Holiday Hampers
On top of all the holiday merriment, the Food Bank was working hard to distribute food to more clients than ever. More than 1,750 households, consisting of 4,700 individuals, accessed the Food Bank in December. This included special holiday “add-ons” so people could enjoy a little extra for Christmas meals, like a pancake breakfast and roasted chicken or turkey. The purchase of these additional holiday hamper items was made possible by the wonderful financial contributions from donors in support of the Food Bank.
“I am feeling much gratitude to all the people who have given of their time, energy, and resources to help me make the holidays a smash hit for my daughter during a difficult change in our lives.” – Christmas Hamper Recipient
A huge thank you to our financial supporters who consistently make the Food Bank’s work possible. We truly could not do this without you.
Extra Challenges – Looking Ahead
As we browse current headlines about inflation and living costs, it’s no surprise that the Food Bank has been facing an unprecedented increase in the number of clients accessing services. 900+ households applied for assistance through the Christmas Bureau in 2022 – a record high.
At the same time, we encountered food shortages due to supply issues. Delays in getting full quantities of purchased food for Christmas hampers made it difficult to consistently provide a complete range of food items throughout the month of December. With needs at their peak, keeping our fridges and shelves full was, and continues to be, an extra challenge.
And on top of it all, snow! For so many who needed access to food before Christmas, the snow could not have come at a worse time. We appreciate the dedication of staff, volunteers and supporters who were able to keep things running, even if on a reduced scale, during days of poor travel conditions.
At a time when things are tough and so many are struggling to make ends meet, it has been such an encouragement to see so many people pulling together to support each other – people connecting with people to give generously in our community. We look forward to seeing more of that community spirit in action in 2023!