The annual Empty Stocking Fund in the Battlefords is getting ready to share the joy in the 2016 Christmas season.
The kickoff to the seasonal food and toy donation drive for the Battlefords District Food & Resource Centre is on Friday Nov. 18 at the Third Ave. United Church in North Battleford with the beef on a bun fundraiser.
Executive Director of the Battlefords District Food & Resource Centre Erin Katerynych said the monthly average of people being assisted by the food bank is going up and there is a need for donations.
“In 2015 we helped an average of just over 1,600 people (per month) and so far this year it’s been averaging over 2,000,” she said.
A Food Banks Canada report released Tuesday, Nov. 15 suggests more Canadians are relying on the charity and Katerynych believes the increase is caused by the economy.
“It’s been happening all year so I don’t think it’s just a blip. I think it’s because [of] the economy, it was on a down spin. With the economy going down we’ve been getting busier. So I’m sure when things level out again that hopefully they will level out at the food bank again as well,” Katerynych said.
The Empty Stocking Fund runs until Dec. 22 and Katerynych said her hopes are high going into this year’s campaign.
“In North Battleford we’ve always had great support from the community and the surrounding areas,” Katerynych said. “We’re looking for the same kind of support this year.”
The kickoff event starts at 11:30 p.m. and will run until 1:30 p.m.
Matt Kelly is battlefordsNOW's town municipal affairs and community reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him @mattjkelly2.
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