Caring and Sharing Exchange issues urgent appeal for donations, 200 households on the waitlist

OTTAWA — With just a week until Christmas Eve, the Caring and Sharing Exchange is issuing an urgent appeal for donations to ensure all of the families on its waitlist for a holiday meal will receive one.  

The program says nearly 20,000 people have requested food assistance over the holidays and 202 households are still left on the waitlist.  

“There has been an 11 per cent increase this year in requests for Christmas food assistance but we have also lost crucial funding due to the cancellation of some of our major fundraising events,” said executive director Cindy Smith. “We are so close to being able to help the families on our waitlist who are still looking for food assistance. This is the most wonderful time of year, and while we may be celebrating differently in 2020, we still believe everyone should have a festive meal to enjoy in their homes on Christmas Day.”

The Christmas Exchange Program provides food assistance in the form of a voucher or a hamper.  

The food hampers include all the fixings to create a festive holiday meal: from turkey and stuffing, to cookies and hot chocolate. They also include fruits and vegetables, which are not always accessible to those on tight budgets. 

“Every dollar counts and will put us one step closer to ensuring not one person on our list goes hungry over the holidays,” said Smith. 

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