A hamper drive that does more than feed families
All food is bought from inner-city organizations
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.