The Village of Beiseker is hoping to make Christmas bright for residents unable to afford gifts and a Christmas meal.
The Village is now accepting applications for Christmas food hampers and its Secret Santa program, which provides gifts to local residents of all ages.
“Each family probably gets four big boxes of food and gifts,” said Gail Peckham, Beiseker’s assistant administrator.
“We really try to give them a good Christmas…we don’t want anyone to miss out.”
According to Peckham, the local food bank served 142 people this year, and about 20 families have come forward requesting Christmas hampers.
She said the Village is expecting more families to request assistance before the Dec. 10 deadline, but is optimistic area residents will meet the need.
“Our boxes aren’t full yet,” said Peckham.
“(But) we have a lot of very generous rural people in the area.”
This year, several large donors have come forward, including Cargill, which is providing turkeys for the hampers, and the Beiseker Hutterite colony, which will provide potatoes, carrots and beets.
Several community organizations will also sponsor families in need.
According to Peckham, any donation is appreciated and can be dropped off at the Village office.
“We try to do as much as we can at Christmas,” she said, adding people are provided with a week’s supply of day-to-day essentials such as coffee, sugar and spaghetti, in addition to Christmas meal fixings.
“Whatever anyone can donate is greatly appreciated.”
Peckham said the food bank generally receives plenty of gifts for younger children, but is often short of presents for teens, adults and grandparents.
The deadline for donations is Dec. 17, when volunteers will assemble the hampers.
For more information, or to request a hamper, contact Peckham at the Village office at 403-947-3774, or pick up a referral form at Community Links.
All hamper requests will remain strictly confidential.