The Calgary Food Bank is looking for donations to stock up its so-called birthday room. It’s a program designed to provide a family a chance to have a birthday celebration for their child.
“We realize that, looking at other research, it is more traumatic for a child to miss a birthday party than it is something like a Christmas party,” Food Bank spokesperson Shawna Ogston told Global News.
“Our volunteers got together and started gathering these items and creating these kits. It’s something that really adds a smile to the face of these families when they are having a food and security issue.”
A family with a child having a birthday between the ages of 1 to 12 can pick up a gift bag. It contains all the ingredients for a party — cake mix, icing, candles, balloons and, depending on the age, a stuffed animal or small toy or book.
Ogston said the Food Bank asks people to put the kits together or to donate the items because the organization cannot use its funding or accept cash donations to make the kits.
“Because the birthday party kits are not a food item and not part of our budget, we don’t purchase these items. We rely solely on the generosity of Calgarians so that we have these birthday party kits for children.”
The Calgary Food Bank has been running the program for several years and on average distributes 230 birthday kits a month.