The Season of Giving is upon us, and the Warman Food Bank is an excellent local resource for those wanting to give back to the community. Gina Funk, Warman Food Bank Administrator, explains how the Food Bank, which is run by Warman churches, operates: “We don't have a physical location other than the stock of non-perishable food that the Warman Mennonite Church on 6th Avenue and Awakening Church each have. Because of the lack of location, we give out gift cards for the Co-op (and soon the Buy-Low Foods). The money to buy these cards is mostly collected at Christmas-time by donations from local businesses, The Warman Community Association, The Warman Thrift Shop, Warman Diamond Rodeo, our schools, and various sports and activity clubs. Our churches do a number of different fundraisers during the year for the Food Bank. There is the Community Carol Festival at 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 1 at the Brian King Centre, and Tea and Jam Fundraiser on February 9, as well as events each local church holds within their own congregations.”
The Christmas Food Drive began November 5 and runs until December 5. Gina says, “We enlisted the help of all four of our city's schools, The Legends Centre and City Hall to be collection locations. Anyone who wants to drop off non-perishable food items can do so at any of those locations. We'll then get all that food moved over to Awakening Church on December 6 and begin sorting it into boxes for families of different sizes according to the list of nominated families to receive these hampers. Any excess food left from the Christmas Food Drive will be kept for distribution during the year as people have need.” Cash and grocery gift cards can be sent directly to the Warman Food Bank (details below).
2019 has been a difficult year for many families and there has been a financial strain on the Warman Food Bank, so helping out this year in any way you can is very important. If you aren’t able to donate food or money, consider offering your time in December to help sort the food from the Food Drive into hampers made up of non-perishable food and small grocery store gift cards (to allow families to purchase the fresh goods for a Christmas Dinner).
If you are looking for ideas on what kinds of food is best to donate to the Food Bank, Gina explains, “Anything is great – cereal, pasta, rice, canned vegetables, soup, lunchbox items, canned meat or fish. Gluten free items are always needed. Even some essentials like toilet paper and laundry detergent is great, too – we all need that stuff. Or baby items, baby cereal, jarred baby food and wipes. (Formula can be kind of diet specific and therefore hit and miss, as well as diapers. People may not need the size that we have if diapers are donated. But again, we'll be THANKFUL for anything and everything we get.) Cash, cheques and grocery gift cards are always great because if the supply of pantry items runs low, we have other ways of helping people.
The Wagon Wheel Restaurant at 520 Central Street West in Warman is holding a Toy Drive for new, unwrapped toys, games or books to be included in the Warman Food Bank Christmas Hampers. Each hamper includes a gift for each child of the family receiving a hamper. Drop off deadline is December 10. You can also bring your donation to the Wagon Wheel Restaurant’s “Breakfast with Santa” on Saturday, December 7, 8:30 to 10:30 am. Bring the kids to have a chance to meet Santa and have a photo taken with him.
If you are in need of help from the Warman Food Bank, or you would like to donate or volunteer, contact Gina Funk. She says, “I can be reached by phone at 306-934-7007, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by Facebook. Our website, www.warmanfoodbank.ca has a "DONATE NOW" button where people can donate electronically after doing a very simple account setup with an app. And of course just mailing a cheque made to Warman Food Bank, Box 1398, Warman SK S0K 4S0. If donors want a tax deductible receipt they can make their cheque out to any of the churches in Warman. The Food Bank itself cannot issue receipts, so that is why the churches look after that for the Food Bank.” There is also a “Nominate Someone in Need” button on the website that can be used any time during the year, not just at Christmas.
Remember that even though the need for the Warman Food Bank is especially high at Christmas-time, you can make donations all year round. To participate in the current Food Drive, drop off non-perishable food items at any of our schools, City Hall and The Legends Centre until December 5, and new unwrapped toys, books or games for the Toy Drive at The Wagon Wheel in Warman until December 10. The Warman Food Bank is grateful for all donations and appreciates the community support!