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Kinettes roll out Christmas Hamper Campaign

The St. Albert Kinettes see roughly 20 per cent uptick in hamper need
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St. Albert is one of the more affluent regions within the Edmonton Metropolitan area. However, as the 57th annual St. Albert Kinette Christmas Hamper Campaign unfolds, organizers are going to fill 300 plus Christmas hampers this year, an increase of roughly 20 per cent. 

That’s in addition to the 600 to 800 hampers the St. Albert Food Bank is assembling said hamper campaign co-chair LeAnne Christiansen. 

“In previous years we’ve filled about 250 to 280 hampers, but this year we’re anticipating a lot more because of the increased demand. Because of conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East and an increase in immigration, we’re looking at a greater need,” said Christiansen, who with co-chair Kimberly Bedry are organizing this massive undertaking. 

Families in need are selected from referral forms submitted by schools, churches, local service organizations and the food bank. This year both St. Albert Food Bank and the Salvation Army have partnered with Kinettes to provide storage for food and the cascade of toys expected to arrive. 

“Our biggest stressor every year was finding a place to store donations and hampers. Both facilities have plenty of room to receive donations throughout the campaign,” Christiansen said. 

Traditionally food hampers are packed with a three-week supply of groceries. They are stuffed with holiday turkey, ham and all the traditional fresh vegetables. In addition, non-perishables such as crackers, rice, pasta, pasta sauce, canned goods, cookies as well as coffee and tea also make the list. 

St. Albert Food Bank is a large facility with enough square footage to keep fridges and freezers operating year-round. This year for the first time, perishables such as eggs, milk and bacon stored in cold temperatures until the time of delivery will be added.

The Salvation Army is also partnering with Kinettes to accept unwrapped toys and gifts. The toys will be displayed in a store-like setting and parents can select a gift for their children. 

“For the first time, we are offering parents an opportunity to pick up a gift for their children. Parents are the best people to know what their kids need, want and will use,” Christiansen said. 

When donating toys and gifts, one group that always gets missed is teenagers she added.  

“We get a lot of support for babies, toddlers and young kids. But it’s more difficult to buy for teenagers. We often recommend buying Wal-Mart gift cards because it offers such a variety of things for teenagers – clothes, electronics, games and toiletries.” 

To pull off this huge undertaking, the Kinettes who number 14 persons, are also working with St. Albert Transit for the annual Fill-A-Bus campaign taking place Saturday, Dec. 9 at major box stores. They include Canadian Tire, Co-op St. Albert, FreshCo, Independent Grocers, Superstore, Safeway, Sobey’s, Walmart and both SaveOn Foods stores. 

In addition, toys and item donation boxes are available at KDM Management, Marshals, Mastermind Toys, Riverside Honda & Ski-Doo, Servus Place, St. Albert Centre, St. Albert Denture and Implant Clinic, Wellness Within, Winners and A&W North and South. 

Individuals who prefer to make monetary donations can drop them off at Sturgeon Valley Baptist Church at 51 Woodlands Road from Tuesday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. E-transfers are payable to [email protected] and cheques are addressed to Kinette Club of St. Albert. 

The Kinettes have also set up an Adopt-a-Family program where gift cards in the amount of $100 per family member will be accepted. To inquire about the Adopt-a-Family campaign email [email protected]

Volunteers are also needed in various capacities to sort toys and food while drivers are needed to deliver hampers. 

“In these times, not everyone is fortunate, and we just want everyone to have a stress-free Christmas, a roof over their head and to see happy faces on their children come Christmas morning. If we can support families along the way, that’s what we want to do. Our motto is 'Serving the community's greatest need.'" 

For complete information on the Christmas Hamper Campaign visit

Anna Borowiecki

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