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Salvation Army's food bank shelves fully stocked

The Christmas season is now wrapping up for the Salvation Army and, although the financial donations didn't quite meet the goal, the holiday season still went rather well.

The Christmas season is now wrapping up for the Salvation Army and, although the financial donations didn't quite meet the goal, the holiday season still went rather well.

The total donations brought in, so far, is $40,300, which is short of their goal of $50,000. Though the financial donations didn't quite meet expectations this year, Lt. Michael Mailman added that "it's not over yet", and that there are usually some donations that come in a little late.

"As far as meeting the Christmas hamper needs, that went really really well," Mike said. "This year we didn't have to physically go out and purchase anything for the hampers. Last year we had to go and buy meat. But this year, donors came in at the right times. It was wonderful!"

Mike added that last year they had to go purchase an extra $2,000 worth of meat but, due to a kind donation of a whole ground up cow, lack of meat wasn't a concern this year.

The Salvation Army was able to help 94 families "in one way or another", and of those, 41 of them were adopted out for the Adopt-A-Family campaign. Mike said that all of the families with children were sponsored this year and, in addition to that, there were potential sponsors who had to be turned down because there weren't any additional families with children left to adopt.

When the Holiday Train rolled through Weyburn on Dec. 17, Weyburn residents came out to enjoy the music and also brought with them donations of food and money for the Salvation Army. Over 1,500 pounds of food and $483 was collected from those in attendance. Though the financial donations are down from last year, there was an additional 1,000 pounds of food brought to the Holiday Train this year. In addition to the donations from Weyburn residents, the CP Rail employees also presented a cheque for $2,000 for the food bank.

The Salvation Army also hosted an extremely successful and free Christmas dinner for Weyburn residents who are less fortunate.

"The Christmas supper was crazy!" Mike exclaimed. "There were more people (attending the supper) than they've ever had before. Everyone involved was really pleased with that. There was even four tables set up in the foyer because there was not any room left in the main hall" to fit everyone who attended. There were approximately 160 people who went to Captain's Hall for the supper, when typically there are less than 100 people in attendance.

"As far as the Christmas hampers went, we were able to give out milk vouchers this year so people could go pick up fresh milk at the Co-op," Mike said, adding that there was potatoes and carrots donated so they were able to give out fresh produce. "Also, each person was able to have a gift this year as well. It worked out really well."

The shelves of the food bank are looking full going into the new year, though all of the donations haven't been put on the shelves yet.

"When it comes to food, we like to really stock up on healthier snacks for kids," Lt. Melissa Mailman commented. "We like to be able to give some meat, but that's getting somewhat low."

"The things that seem to go the fastest are snacks for school, peanut-free things, fruit and vegetables," Melissa added. "We're always low on pasta and pasta sauces. We have a ton of macaroni so we don't need any more of that. We actually had some we had to get rid of because it (went bad). But we need pastas like spaghetti and sauces."

Though the financial goal for the Christmas campaigns has not been met yet, the shelves of the food bank are full and the less fortunate of Weyburn had a better Christmas because of the donations, cash and food made by Weyburn residents.

Melissa commented that "everyone's needs were met and that's what makes a difference."

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