Volunteers filled the Agricultural Hall on Wednesday (Dec. 18) to fill 166 Christmas hampers for local families as part of the annual Agassiz Harrison Community Services Food Bank Christmas Bureau program.
Agassiz and Harrison families who had pre-registered for the program by mid-November then came to the hall on Dec. 19 to pick up their hampers, which are cardboard boxes with enough food to make breakfast on Christmas morning as well as a dinner with turkey and all of the fixings.
Food bank coordinator Brianne Messenger said the boxes are called hampers because Agassiz Harrison Community Services used to pack the food in boxes with handles similar to laundry hampers.
“It’s basically for anyone that feels they need a little bit of extra help at Christmas time,” Messenger said of the program, which does not have income requirements.
When picking up their hampers, households were invited to browse hundreds of free winter clothing items in the “winter coat closet” that volunteers set up at the hall, and families with children under the age of 18 had the opportunity to pick out a few toys from “Santa’s toy shop.”
Households were also invited to enter a free draw for some of the more valuable items that had been donated to Agassiz Harrison Community Services, such as bicycles, a fishing rod, a drone, a crock pot and gift baskets.
|Households with at least one child under the age of 18 that pre-registered for the Agassiz Harrison Community Services Food Bank Christmas Bureau program were able to pick out a few gifts from “Santa’s toy shop” on Dec. 19 at the Agricultural Hall. (Karissa Gall/The Observer)|
At the end, Messenger said the program was a great success and only six boxes of clothing and toys were left at the hall, which she will save for next year’s Food Bank Christmas Bureau.