Edmonton Food Bank holiday campaign hopes for a final push before Christmas

The Edmonton Food Bank says it's less than halfway to its holiday goal of collecting 350,000 kilograms of food and $1.8 million.

'I’m very happy that there are food banks for the needy'

A volunteer carrying a box of food distributed by the Edmonton Food Bank. (Rick Bremness/CBC )

The Edmonton Food Bank says it's less than halfway to its holiday goal of collecting 350,000 kilograms of food and $1.8 million.

"The challenge we have is once Christmas arrives we sometimes fall to the back burner," said spokesperson Tamisan Bencz-Knight.

"We don't want people to forget that the Edmonton Food bank is an all-year-round organization."

Bencz-Knight said the food bank has more than 450 groups fundraising on its behalf. Most will donate food and money once the Christmas season is done.

The CBC is one of those groups. The annual Turkey Drive fundraiser, which wraps up on Thursday, has already collected more than $111,000.

The goal is to reach $500,000 by the end of the day on Thursday.

'I hope that they keep it up'

"One of the reasons we have such big goals is because when the lights go down we have to continue our programs and services in the community, because hunger doesn't take a holiday," said Bencz-Knight. "There will definitely be hungry people in January, February, March and April. All the way throughout the year.

"So these funds and food that are coming in will be helping us into those spring months."

Money and food that help people like Bonnie Gambler.

Gambler said she relies on food hampers from her local church to help her with groceries.

"I'm very happy that there are food banks for the needy," said Gambler, who comes with her friend at least once a month to collect a hamper from St. Mary's Anglican Church in Highlands.

"I hope that they keep it up."

Donations to the Edmonton Food Bank can be made online, at most grocery stores and at all city fire halls.