Cheer Board in Overdrive as Christmas Nears

Winnipeg’s Christmas Cheer Board is bustling as volunteers work to sort and put together hampers for this holiday season.

The charity kicked off its annual grocery bag campaign on Tuesday, encouraging the public to fill a brown paper bag with non-perishable food items. Bags can be dropped off at any Canada Safeway location in the city.

Executive director Kai Madsen says the Cheer Boards needs to raise about $900,000 in the month leading up to Christmas.

“We buy 60% of the stuff that goes into the hampers, and we expect to be doing roughly 19,000 hampers this year,” Madsen said. “The other 40% comes in via the grocery bag (campaign).”

The 60/40 split also comes in the way of toy purchases and donations, which are also a huge part of the hampers for those with children living in their household.

Madsen is also responsible for overseeing the purchase of turkeys for each hamper, which adds up to about $200,000.

The most needed items this year are canned fish and meats, canned vegetables and fruits, peanut butter, soup, rice, dry pasta, canned spaghetti sauce, and cereal. Extras include cookies, chocolates, nuts and candy.

Donations can be dropped off 550-1395 Ellice Avenue, or $5 and $10 food packages with some of the most needed items can be purchased at Safeway. video