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Calgary charity doubles efforts to feed families over the holidays

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Calgary charity doubles efforts to feed families over the holidays
WATCH: Calgary-based charity Made by Momma has doubled its efforts to make sure families in need can put together a special Christmas meal this season. As Michael King reports, organizers say demand has never been higher – Dec 22, 2023

With the rising prices at the grocery stores and the overall cost of living, it’s no surprise that a big Christmas dinner has been dropped from the list of priorities for some Calgary families.

But one local charity has teamed up with a Calgary developer and grocery chain to make sure 150 families are able to put a special meal together over the holidays.

In 2022, Made by Momma partnered with Peoplefirst Developments and the Astra Group to bring 75 meals to families in need, and this year they’ve doubled their efforts with the help of Urban Fair.

“To some of these people, this means everything,” Made by Momma vice-president Joanne Low said. “It means hope and it means that with everything, someone has their back and they don’t need to face these challenging times alone.”

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Along with food, families also receive a board game with the hopes of allowing them an escape from the stress of the holidays.

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“Our hope is that families will have good memories generated this holiday season,” Astra Group CEO Maxime Olshevsky said.

While the partnership has ramped up its campaign for 2023, Low says there are still hundreds of families in their system who need support over the holidays.

“We have over 250 families who have not yet been matched with a sponsor,” Low said. “So even if a family can’t sponsor a whole family this season, they can provide an item or gift card to support them.”

Low adds that for many of the families, it’s not one single issue that has led to them needing to reach out for support.

“We just saw on the news that Calgary is one of the most expensive cities to live in and that compounded with crises that hit them every day, like an illness, death in the family, or fleeing domestic violence, they’re all just additional layer,” Low said. “Support like this even for one day can make all the difference.”

The group says it plans to make the Gift of Christmas Dinner campaign an annual event with the hopes of supporting more families in the future.

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