June 20th, 2024

Campaign hopes to motor meals to 2,000 this Christmas

By Troy Bannerman - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 1, 2022.

Herald photo by Troy Bannerman Cuppers of Nancy Graham, LSCO's Shiloh Sabas and Rob Myashiro, and Teamworks Ryan Miller helped the launch the annual 23 Days of Christmas Campaign.

Local organizers for Meals on Wheels kicked off their Christmas campaign on Wednesday morning at Cupper’s Coffee Shop.

Ryan Miller of Select People Solutions/Teamworks and Rob Miyashiro with the Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization and Meals on Wheels were on hand to launch this year’s 23 Days of Christmas campaign to support the Meals on Wheels program. The campaign is hoping to sponsor 2,000 meals.

Miller explained the two ways “that organizations, community members can support the campaign is by becoming an honourary chef for $1000 to sponsor a day or a sous chef to sponsor half a day (for $500) or to buy one of our great Christmas cards.”

The campaign has been running for 14 years.

“So, we’ve been involved for I don’t even know how many years now,” said Cupper’s owner Nancy Graham addressing her crowded shop. “A very long time. And we really appreciate it. Our customers love these (Christmas cards), and they love the fact that it supports Meals on Wheels, that they are giving back – we’re giving back to the community as a whole. That it stays within Lethbridge and definitely supports a population that is vulnerable and needs the support and assistance. So, we actually start selling them before we technically receive them because they are so popular every year. And we are probably close to half sold out already of the 300 that we get. So, by all means, please come in and help. And if you can’t get them here, go to Italian Table, go to Urban Grocer, go to the Water Tower, any of them are more than happy to support this program. It is such a fantastic endeavour.”

The campaign has its sights set on a five-figure outcome.

“Our goal is to exceed $30,000 this year,” said Miller. “So, we’re already at the $25,000 mark in the campaign…so, we’re so excited at the launch of our campaign. As you can see our calendar here, we are one and a half days from all of December being sponsored, and we already received notice yesterday that the final full day is coming in. So, we are already drifting into January, which tomorrow starts the campaign. What can you say about the people in this community that step up and support our community and support Meals on Wheels?”

The Meal on Wheels organization helps people with mobility and financial difficulties receive food. “People don’t realize that not all seniors have a retirement plan, not all people,” said Miyashiro. “We also have people with developmental disabilities get help too – then this is people who maybe can’t cook for themselves – we send food to families every year who are isolated because people and their families have COVID. They couldn’t go out shopping. So they, in a roundabout way, found out who we were and we would send meals to them every day or every couple days.”

Local businesses and individuals have raised over $280,000 for Meals on Wheels over the past 13 years.

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