This holiday season Greener Village food bank volunteers in Fredericton are busy assembling Christmas hampers. The food bank is now offering plant-based Christmas boxes for vegetarians and vegans.
Kenneth Little, manager of the Fredericton food bank, started the meat-free option a few weeks ago and expects demand for the new boxes to increase.
“The total number of food hampers is 1,250 that clients have signed up for,” said Little.
Last Christmas, a user of the food bank requested only vegan donations in their Christmas box after getting a large frozen turkey. They then had items removed from their Christmas boxes, but not replaced with a meat-free substitute.
Staff at the food bank say they recognized a need for more options and decided to get help creating the plant-based boxes from a local vegan group.
They learned about healthy alternative choices for meat and replaced a traditional turkey with “tofurky” to preserve the holiday theme in the Christmas boxes.
“Most stuffing has pieces of chicken and turkey in it, well this is traditional sage stuffing so it has only plant-based products in it,” says Alex Boyd, executive director of the Greener Village Food Bank.
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In addition to the plant-based Christmas boxes, the food bank also offers holiday gluten free and celiac boxes, as well as a halal box where clients get a halal chicken instead of a turkey.
Greener Village is still accepting donations to sustain them over holiday rush. They expect to continue handing out large qualities of food donations into the new year.