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CFAX Santas Anonymous donation helps feed families and send kids to camp

Food hampers are prepared at the Burnside Gorge Community Association Food hampers are prepared at the Burnside Gorge Community Association
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VICTORIA – A donation of more than $21,000 to the Burnside Gorge Community Association will help support families make ends meet and send 30 kids to camp this summer.

The community association will put $14,622 of the donation towards a food hamper program for neighbourhood families. The program supports 50 families with fresh fruit and vegetables during the late spring and early summer months.

“It is a weekly lifesaver,” said Burnside Gorge Community Association executive director Suzanne Cole. “For that short period of time in their year, they don’t have to worry where their fruit and vegetables are coming from.”

Staff with the community group will also be providing children’s snack bags for 50 families who receive support from the food program. Cole says it supports families when their children are home during the summer.

Staff say in the past year the cost of food has risen eight percent, and many low income families are feeling the strain.

“We’re helping relieve a little bit of stress in a time where finances can be really tight,” said Cole. “Families are still recovering from the winter, so high utility bills that they are still paying off, and it’s just one thing on top of another that creates a lot of barriers.”

Cole says $7,000 of the Santas Anonymous donation will allow 30 young people to participate in the community association’s Camp Survivor program. The summer camp program gives kids aged 10 to 14 a chance to experience outdoor activities, like zip lining and kayaking, by subsidizing the fees associated with the activity.

“I think in today’s day and age when kids are tied to their phones or isolated at home, it gives them an opportunity to get out in nature and be active,” said Cole. “Santas Anonymous provides us with 30 subsidies for camp and a little extra money for food, so we always have healthy snacks for kids who might not come with enough food.”

Cole says CFAX Santas Anonymous has provided financial support to the Camp Survivor program for more than 15 years. She says this is the third year the children’s charity has provided funding for the food program.

Staff with CFAX Santas Anonymous say fundraising activities, like the Miracle on Broad Street and Al’s 21 for 21, are a key part to helping fund donations to groups like the Burnside Gorge Community Association.

“It’s our community that steps up to make this donation happen,” said CFAX Santas Anonymous executive director Christine Hewitt. “Our board of directors looks at where the greatest need, is and this is one of the greatest needs.”

  

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