COVID-19 crisis motivates two food hamper drives
EDMONTON -- Two Edmonton organizations had similar goals Monday, as they both worked to put together food hampers for the less fortunate.
Staff members from Edmonton Catholic Schools gathered at a safe distance at St. Peter Learning Centre to assemble 296 hampers meant for families in need.
"They need support," said Edmonton Catholic Schools' Cheryl Shinkaruk from the learning centre through video chat.
"They have either reached out to the school saying that either 'a' they might be in a self-quarantine situation, low-income, maybe they’ve lost their job," she said.
In total, the hampers cost $29,000 or about $100 per package.
They were made possible thanks to help from Alberta Education Nutrition Funding, Breakfast for Learning, Breakfast Club of Canada, the ECSD (Edmonton Catholic School Division) Foundation and private donors.
Each hamper is meant to feed four people for about two weeks with non-perishable food items as well as fruits and vegetables.
"We know that filling their bellies will also help soothe their minds hopefully during this unprecedented time of COVID-19," said Shinkaruk.
While Edmonton Catholic School staff worked on their hampers, a similar exercise was happening at the Al Rashid Mosque.
Community members there worked to assemble 250 packages of food as well as 500 hygiene kits.
Funded through donations, Islamic Relief Canada’s Edmonton chapter is distributing $37,500 worth of food and hygiene products to people in need.
"Just sort of staple items for people to get through over the course the next month or so," said Islamic Relief Canada’s Owais Hikmat from the mosque via video chat.
"For those who are vulnerable, those who are immunocompromised, are elders, any family member that needs help," he said.
"I’m so blessed, humbled and really excited to be given the opportunity to give back and to help those in need," said Hikmat.
You can donate to Islamic Relief Canada online. You can also learn how to give to Edmonton Catholic Schools food hamper program through its website.