A ham­per drive that does more than feed fam­i­lies

All food is bought from in­ner-city or­ga­ni­za­tions

Metro Canada (Winnipeg) - - METRO NEWS -

An an­nual ham­per drive will once again help feed peo­ple who are less for­tu­nate at Christ­mas time, but this ham­per drive will also reach out and help out in so many other ways.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion Lo­cal In­vest­ment To­ward Em­ploy­ment (LITE) is now col­lect­ing do­na­tions for their Al­ter­na­tive Christ­mas Ham­per Drive.

The drive takes do­na­tions and buys goods to fill ham­pers, but ev­ery­thing they buy comes from in­ner-city or­ga­ni­za­tions, and ones that em­ploy peo­ple that would typ­i­cally have bar­ri­ers to em­ploy­ment.

“It’s all based on LITE’s mis­sion to pro­vide train­ing and em­ploy­ment for peo­ple that live in poverty in the in­nercity,” said LITE spokesper­son Christa Camp­bell.

“Th­ese ham­pers aren’t more ex­pen­sive than a typ­i­cal ham­per, but they are strate­gic be­cause they sup­port jobs in our lo­cal econ­omy, so it makes sense be­cause you are help­ing more than one cause.”

The drive has run since 1994 and ev­ery year makes an ap­prox­i­mately $40,000 pur­chase from Neechi Com­mons, which sells gro­ceries at two stores in Win­nipeg’s Point Dou­glas area, and is one of the largest com­mer­cial em­ploy­ers of In­dige­nous peo­ple in Canada.

“It’s a very big deal be­cause a lot of peo­ple in this area get ham­pers, so be­fore this started ham­per drives would col­lapse our De­cem­ber sales,” said Neechi Com­mons Co-op pres­i­dent Louise Cham­pagne.

“So now it’s win-win be­cause we are sup­ported, and our prod­ucts go out and help to feed the com­mu­nity.”

The drive also sup­ports other or­ga­ni­za­tions that work to train and em­ploy peo­ple, as LITE buys baked goods from the Spence Neigh­bour­hood As­so­ci­a­tion, Wolse­ley Fam­ily Place, and the Na­tive Women’s Tran­si­tion Cen­tre.

“So we give them much­needed busi­ness, and they can of­fer more work and train­ing,” said Camp­bell.

Last year the drive helped feed about 1,600 Win­nipeg res­i­dents.

Any­one who would like to make a do­na­tion to the LITE Al­ter­na­tive Ham­per Drive can visit abet­ter­ham­per.com or call 204-942-8578.


lIte spokesper­son Christa Camp­bell, and neechi Com­mons employees Crys­tal mcIvor, Jade mcIvor, louise Cham­pagne, and nor­man Spence show off some of the stuff that will fill ham­pers thanks to the lIte Al­ter­na­tive ham­per Drive.

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