Mainstreet wanted to refresh peoples’ memories about the origins and aims of the spectacular East Shore Christmas Food Hamper program, currently managed by Gina Medhurst. For many, many years, Leona Keraiff ran this fantastic community-driven and highly valued program, taking care of those who need it at this special time of year.
Mainstreet asked Gina to jot down some thoughts about the program and they follow. Thank you, Gina, for carrying the torch for this valuable program and for helping to keep hope and community-mindedness alive and well on the East Shore.
Gina – Almost 30 years ago a few community members were gathering some non-perishable food items together to take over to the Nelson Salvation Army for their Food Bank drive for Christmas. One of the ladies stopped and thought – maybe we could help those in need right here on the East Shore. In 1986 during the Crawford Bay Community Christmas pot luck a box of non-perishable food items were collected to help those who need some extra help during this time of year.
Looking ahead to now, a small passionate group of five people continue this annual event. This wonderful community FILLS five large boxes many times over, makes financial donations, and offers to help in so many ways to keep this special program available to those in need along the East Shore of Kootenay Lake. On average the East Shore Christmas Food Hampers help out 40 single and family homes at a cost of $110 each. This hamper includes many basic food needs including a complete Christmas dinner of either a turkey or ham with ALL the fixings.
A common misconception that I hear is that if there is someone who needs it more, then give it to them instead. The wonderful truth is that we DON’T set a number of hampers to give out. If there were 100 hampers needed here we would make sure that ALL 100 would made up.
If you would like to help your community members enjoy full stomachs this Christmas season we are accepting non-perishable food donations until December 15. Donation boxes are located at all local stores and the East Shore Branch of the Credit Union. Financial donations are also accepted and can be deposited directly into the East Shore Christmas Food Hamper account at the ES branch of the NDCU.