Make the Season Kind sets record for Harvest Manitoba donations, reaching over $290K

Make the Season Kind has now received over $290,000 in donations — shattering the previous record for the annual fundraiser for Harvest Manitoba, which works to feed thousands of Manitobans every month.

CBC Manitoba’s annual charity drive in support of local food banks began Friday, with a day full of live performances by local musicians and heartwarming stories.

As of Saturday evening, a total of $192,405 had been pledged for Harvest Manitoba, the charitable organization formerly called Winnipeg Harvest. With the first $100,000 in donations matched by Doug Harvey of Maxim Trucks, the total is $292,405, breaking the previous record of $182,108.50, set in 2013.

Donatations to the Make the Season Kind campaign can be made until Sunday evening, by dropping off food items at Harvest Manitoba (1085 Winnipeg Ave.), or visiting Harvest Manitoba online (select ‘donate now’ in the top right corner).

Harvest Manitoba’s Top 10 food needs

  • Canned fruit.
  • Canned soup/stew.
  • Canned tuna.
  • Canned vegetables.
  • Pasta.
  • Pasta sauce.
  • Rice.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Baby formula/food.
  • Instant oatmeal.

‘Fast and furious’ year for Harvest

“Since March, [it] has been very fast and furious,” Harvest CEO Keren Taylor-Hughes said Friday, referring to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People have exhausted their savings, their jobs haven’t come back, and they’re struggling. Folks that have never been in to use a food bank before. Folks who had used the food bank years ago got themselves back on their feet and now have come back.”

Harvest Manitoba was serving 70,000 Manitobans each month, but during the pandemic, the number has jumped to 85,000 hungry children, adults and seniors and struggling families. Those people are fed with help from over 350 agencies — food banks, soup kitchens, schools and daycares around the province.

There are 15 new families coming to Harvest each day, said Taylor-Hughes.

Of the people who rely on Harvest Manitoba, 43 per cent are children.

Now in its 35th year, Harvest Manitoba collects and shares 11 million pounds of food per year. Just $2.62 is enough to cover the cost of one pound of food. 

All food donations will be added to Harvest hampers, which are put together by volunteers, six days a week.

CBC Manitoba’s Make the Season Kind programming continues Dec. 5-6 on The Weekend Morning Show with Nadia Kidwai, from 6 to 9 a.m.

Last year more than $60,000 was raised in support of Harvest Manitoba.

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