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The Vankleek Hill Food Bank will once again be holding its Christmas basket food drive at Foodland in Vankleek Hill on Saturday, November 27. FILE PHOTO

Registration underway for Christmas baskets from the Vankleek Hill Food Bank

Registration for Christmas baskets from the Vankleek Hill Food Bank is underway, as the organization prepares for its annual holiday food drive.

Volunteers from the food bank will be in front of Foodland on Highway 34 in Vankleek Hill, on Saturday, November 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Residents of Vankleek Hill, Hawkesbury-East, Chute-à-Blondeau, Saint-Eugène, Ste-Anne-de-Prescott, and St-Bernardin can drop off their own items at the collection of food items, or purchase a pre-filled bag from Foodland to donate.

As always, cash donations are most welcome. Food Bank volunteers will be taking the necessary precautions to receive the items donated in a safe manner.

The Food Bank accepts all non-perishable food items. There is always a need for personal care products, peanut butter, Cheez Whiz, instant coffee, tea, canned meats and tuna, canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta, pasta sauce, crackers, cereal, and most other non-perishable food items.

Registration for Christmas Baskets has already begun and will continue until the end of November. Anyone in the region who is in need and wishes to receive a Christmas Basket can call the Vankleek Hill Food Bank, Monday to Friday, at 613-678-8119 and leave a message with their name and phone number. A member of the Food Bank will call you back and collect all the details they require to insure that you are on the list of recipients.

The Vankleek Hill Food Bank has been extremely busy in 2021, with a more than 50 per cent increase in demand during 2021 over the previous two years. Volunteers are continuing to supply regular food baskets to support local families, even as the Christmas drive is underway.

“It’s going to be very busy from the beginning of December to the end,” said Mike McGurk, co-director of the food bank, who noted there had already been more than 70 requests received for baskets as of November 14.

Despite the increased demand, the support of local businesses and area residents has continued to provide the food bank with consistent supplies for those in need. McGurk wished to thank the owners and employees of Foodland in particular for their support of the Vankleek Hill Food Bank.

“The generosity of businesses in the area, the community at large, and the Foodland employees and owners has been fantastic,” McGurk said, noting the Foodland location on Highway 34 is an ideal spot for the Christmas drive.

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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