AHCS event coordinator Jen Sibley (left) and food bank coordinator Lisa Hodgkinson (right) are thrilled by the amount of food bank donations that came in over the holidays. (Nina Grossman/The Observer)

AHCS event coordinator Jen Sibley (left) and food bank coordinator Lisa Hodgkinson (right) are thrilled by the amount of food bank donations that came in over the holidays. (Nina Grossman/The Observer)

Generosity fills hampers, hearts

Locals show Christmas spirit with AHCS donations

Agassiz Harrison Community Services is overwhelmed by the number of food and cash donations the community provided over the holidays.

Event coordinator Jen Sibley said 140 Christmas hampers were filled, so that 323 individuals, including 113 children, could have dinner on Christmas, as well as gifts and fresh produce.

“We had a store set up [at Community Services] so everybody got a gift who wanted it or needed it,” she said.

Food drives by the local fire departments, schools, churches and the Agassiz RCMP helped to bring in enough food donations to last the food bank until the end of the summer.

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“We’re struggling trying to find a place to put it all,” Sibley said with a laugh, adding that before the holidays, food bank coordinator Lisa Hodgkinson had to use donated money to buy food for the agency.

“That’s why cash donations are always great cause we can go out and buy what we need that week,” Sibley said. “We’re a small food bank, so we don’t the same breaks that the bigger banks do.”

While the total number for cash and food donations has yet to be calculated, Sibley is thankful for the community’s ongoing kindness.

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“The generosity definitely showed this year,” she said. “If they find out that it’s really a need, then the community really comes out and supports.

“It definitely made many people’s Christmases brighter.”