Make the Season Variety raises greater than $1M for Edmonton’s Meals Financial institution

CBC Edmonton’s Make the Season Kind campaign has raised more than $1 million for the third year in a row for Edmonton’s Food Bank.

As of 6 pm Thursday, the campaign’s final day, $1,096,015 had been raised. The goal was $500,000.

“2022 has been very challenging for our organization because we have seen record numbers of people turning to us,” Marjorie Bencz, executive director of Edmonton’s Food Bank, told CBC Thursday.

“It’s very humbling to be the beneficiary of that generosity and it speaks to the kindness in our community.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, food bank visits in Alberta and across the country have skyrocketed with the highest year-over-year increase since 2008.

From June 2020 to June 2022, Edmonton’s food bank has seen a 97 percent increase in use.

In 2020, CBC Edmonton’s annual December campaign raised $1,141,812. That was the first year the campaign’s theme was changed to Make the Season Kind after 24 years as the Turkey Drive.

In addition to hampers, it provides food served at 300 agencies, soup kitchens, shelters, churches and schools.

Nicole Burrows, principal of Ecole Holyrood School, said this is the school’s 16th year fundraising.

“We have been encouraging our students to do acts of kindness in the community and at home and encouraging people to donate to this campaign.They have been shovelling snow, loading the dishwasher, cleaning their rooms, picking up their toys in exchange for donations, “Burrows said.

In addition to donating funds, listeners and viewers have also been submitting their own stories of kindness, for a chance to win prizes.

The food bank said donations can be made online or dropped off at many major grocery stores, Edmonton fire stations, or at the food bank’s warehouse.

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