A community watch group in Calgary is taking on its second year of delivering food hampers, and they say they’re low on perishables.
Calgary’s Bear Clan Patrol is collecting donations for Christmas. The Indigenous-led group handed out 250 dinners across the city last year, and regularly offers toiletries, food and clothes to those in need throughout the year.
Yvonne Henderson, a Blackfoot volunteer with the group, says they run a barrier-free approach, which means they are often clearing out their inventory and relying on donations to restock it.
“Whether they’re facing houselessness, whether they’re facing poverty, whether they’re facing court dates, whether they need support for funerals, whether they need support in any way, they can always come to Bear Clan. We’re like that family they never had,” she said.
“Especially at Christmas time I can’t imagine being able to say, ‘I don’t have food for after Christmas.'”
Henderson says the group is especially looking for perishable items this year.
“We need turkey. We need ham. We need chickens. We would love wild meat if there are hunters out there. Our Indigenous brothers, if there’s hunters and they want to go out and bring us the moose, we’ll take it from you.”
Hip Deranger, who is Blackfoot and volunteers with the group, says he wants to help people in his community.
“We know that struggle, we understand that battle, so it’s way easier for them to come and talk to us which makes it way more comfortable for them, because every time they go somewhere else, doors get closed on them,” he said.
“The main goal of it all this time is to, you know, instill that hope into the people out there, not to give up, right?”
There are about 40 volunteers who are currently helping to drive food to families. Donations can be dropped off on Thursdays, Henderson says.