The food hampers are all packed and ready to be delivered to Ottawa area families in need this holiday season, but it’s not too late to help the Christmas Exchange make the season a little brighter.
“There’s a bit of a push right now because donations are down across the board and throughout the region, need is up,” said honorary campaign chair Adrian Harewood, the host of CBC Radio’s afternoon program All in a Day. “Unfortunately, I think we are going to fall short.”
Last year, the exchange assisted over 25,000 people in 9,200 families, including 11,000 children and 2,200 seniors.
This year, Christmas Exchange executive director Marilyn Matheson said the organization will distribute 252 food hampers and 8,500 Christmas vouchers to families in Ottawa, benefiting approximately 20,000 people.
Though many of the hampers and vouchers will be distributed before Christmas, Matheson said people can still make donations after Dec. 25.
She said there are still 800 families on a waiting list and any donations they receive over the next week will be distributed as quickly as possible.
“I’m really surprised at how big it is,” said volunteer Tiffany Johnson, referring to the demand for hampers and vouchers in Ottawa.