A new way to deliver food hampers for families in need

The Caring and Sharing Exchange has introduced a new initiative as part of their nearly century old Christmas Exchange Program. Starting this holiday season, members of the Ottawa community can now deliver Christmas directly to local individuals and families in need through the new sponsor-a-hamper program. Sponsors are able to purchase supplies for a hamper, pack it themselves, and deliver it directly to a family in need.

“We are very excited about the addition of this program,” said Cindy Smith, Executive Director of the Caring and Sharing Exchange.

“This is a very tangible and personal way for people to give back to the community during the holiday season and with the Exchange’s unique Co-ordination Service all donors can rest assured that there is no duplication of service.”

The Caring and Sharing Exchange provides Christmas assistance to individuals and families in the form of a food hamper or redeemable gift voucher. Last year, the organization’s Christmas Exchange program received requests for assistance from close to 25,000 individuals, 750 of whom were from the Kitchissippi area. Despite the generosity of the Ottawa community, they were only able to provide assistance to less than half of those who asked for help, leaving thousands to go without.

“We hope that by offering our supporters another way to give, we will be able to assist more people this year,” said Smith. “This is a way of giving back that allows for a family, business, team or group to get involved and to be assured that 100% of their support goes right into direct assistance.”

Because this organization receives such a large number of requests each year, it allows the sponsor-a-hamper program to offer donors the option of choosing the size of family they would like to make a hamper for. This ranges from an individual or two-person household, to families of 6 or more. It also allows donors to have the option of making a hamper for seniors.

“Last year, more than ten percent of those we assisted were seniors,” said Smith. “We feel that giving donors the option of choosing to support a senior or seniors in need will be one of the things that make our hamper program unique.”

If you would like to register to sponsor a hamper (or hampers!) this holiday season, please fill out the online registration form on the Caring and Sharing Exchange’s website at www.CaringandSharing.ca, or email hamper@caringandsharing.ca for more information. The Caring and Sharing Exchange also accepts monetary donations online in order to help provide direct food assistance.

This is what a medium-sized hamper for a family of 3- 5 people looks like:

  • 14 oz can of green peas, or green/yellow beans
  • Can of cranberries
  • Box of stuffing
  • Can of hot chocolate, or coffee or tea
  • Cookies or other dessert
  • 1 lb of butter
  • 2 lb bag of carrots
  • 5 lb bag of potatoes
  • 2 lb bag of onions
  • Loaf of bread
  • 1 litre of 2% milk
  • Bag of fresh oranges or clementines, or a bag of fresh apples
  • 18 – 22 lb Turkey
  • Foil pan for roasting the turkey

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