The Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Kettle campaign kicked off in Lloydminster today.
The economic downturn has meant that demand for the Salvation Army’s food bank services has doubled from the Christmas season last year. Furthermore, 60 per cent of the people requiring the food bank are children.
According to Corporal O’Doherty, the Lloydminster branch is only seeing a fraction of the food that they normally would this time in the year.
“We are needing two or three times more than we have in the past,” said O’Doherty.
Last year, the kettle campaign helped to raise close to $40,000 and they are looking to reach a goal of $50,000 this year.
The central theme for the campaign this year is hope.
“People knowing that their children will be fed at the end of the day, people knowing that they can face tomorrow without absolute despair, and people knowing that there is someone else out there that can walk this journey with them,” said O’Doherty.
Lloydminster mayor Gerald Aalbers was on hand for the launch.
“Our community gives extensively, and they have big hearts,” said Aalbers.
He also said that he believes giving right now is more important than ever.
“It doesn’t matter what street you go on in this community, somebody has become unemployed,” said Aalbers.
The Salvation Army encourages people to help in any way that they can, whether it be donating food, money, or their time as a volunteer.
The Christmas kettles can be found outside Wal-Mart, Safeway, The Lloydminster Co-op Marketplace, or the Superstore until Dec. 24.