The Millet Community Food Bank is doing its best to collect donations for this holiday season.
“The COVID pandemic has created some challenges for our usual forms of food/fundraising. Our major fundraising efforts happen during the holiday season every year, and the CP Holiday Train our biggest event. It only stops every other year, so the fundraising that it generates for us is something that keeps us going for 2 years,” says Food Bank Manager Debbie Herman.
“The train was scheduled to stop in 2020, so our last large fundraiser was in 2018. Without a stop this year, and the pandemic, our large fundraising opportunity may not happen until 2022. This is a concern for us knowing how much we rely on that fundraiser.”
This year the CP Holiday Train was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, however they had a virtual event available for those who still wanted to enjoy some Christmas cheer and music.
The CP Holiday Train held a virtual concert on Dec. 12, 2020 with performances from Canadian favourites Serena Ryder, The Trews, and Kelly Prescott.
In light of the CP Holiday Train not making its scheduled appearance in Millet, the Food Bank has been creative in their holiday donation initiatives.
One of these initiatives is ‘Light Up Millet’ which will take place the evening of Dec.17, 2020. The Millet Fire Department is partnering with the Millet Food Bank for ‘Light Up Millet’ to collect donations. Between 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 17 the Millet Fire Department will be lighting up the streets of Millet with lights and music to pick up donations home to home.
“They will be picking up new unwrapped toys, food donations, and reverse advent calendar boxes,” says Herman. “Please have your items in a box or bag for easy pick up at the end of your sidewalk or driveway. Please feel free to say hello from your window or front step, a safe distance away!”
Another one of the Food Bank’s holiday initiatives is their reverse advent calendar.
“We started this ‘giving’ advent calendar on Nov. 25. Instead of receiving a gift, we reversed this tradition to give a gift,” says Herman. “We identified one item each day over 24 days ending on Dec. 18 in time to be distributed with our Christmas Hampers.”
Herman says that it is an option to put their boxes together all at once, and that it isn’t too late to compile one.
However, if none of those donation options work for you Herman says not to worry—collection bins can be found at the Millet Fresh Market, Beef’d Sandwich Bar, Mullin Insurance, Griffith Scott School (for families of students only), and the Millet Community Food Bank during their open hours.
The Millet Food Bank is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
When looking for what to donate, “we are always in need of toiletries, healthy kids snacks, canned fruit and vegetables, cereal, juice, pancake mix/syrup, and canned beans,” says Herman.