RRCSA’s annual Christmas Hamper Program provides food stability over the holiday season

By Rachel Wilson

Students in need will receive a little holiday cheer by mail this year thanks to the RRC Students’ Association Christmas Hamper program.

Each year, the RRCSA works with the school’s on-campus food bank, which is partnered with Winnipeg Harvest, to put together Christmas hampers to support students and their families. RRC faculties help create personalized hampers to fit each student’s needs.

The campus food bank closed at the beginning of the fall semester because of COVID-19, so the RRCSA mailed food voucher gift cards to students instead of creating hampers. 

RRCSA’s Christmas Hamper Program is available to all RRC students./RRCSA

Leslie Howie, the Exchange District Campus SA administration assistant, has been working at the RRCSA for seven years. She said she has seen many joyful moments arise from previous Christmas hampers.

Howie recalled when a student with a young daughter was matched with a faculty about three years ago. She said the family didn’t have a Christmas tree, so the SA went out and bought them a tree with all the decorations.

“A little girl’s gotta have a Christmas tree,” Howie said.

Howie stressed the importance donations have to the hamper program this year. 

“Donations can come from students or from anyone outside of the college,” she said. “The more donations we receive, the more we can give.” 

This is the first year RRCSA has a donation page up on their website and Howie said they intend to keep it up year-round.

Howie said donations are crucial to running the campus food bank. She added the SA hopes to see up and running again in the future.

RRCSA president Yash Chopra said over 100 RRC students received Christmas hampers last year, which included grocery gift cards and both perishable and non-perishable food items.

He said it’s difficult to determine how many students will use the Christmas Hamper Program this year because of campus closures.

“Engaging with students and promoting this event has been challenging,” Chopra said. “I am very much so hoping this online program is successful.”

Students in need of food vouchers can fill out an online application form on RRCSA’s website. The deadline for applications is Nov. 27, 2020.

Donations to the Christmas Hamper Program can be made through the RRCSA website by credit or visa-debit card. One hundred per cent of donations go towards the SA’s Christmas Hamper Program and the campus food bank.