SOUTH DUNDAS – “This year it seems more important than ever before for the South Dundas Christmas Exchange to be able to deliver the ingredients for Christmas dinners to our friends and neighbours,” said Exchange acting chair Bonnie McNairn.
“For the last 31 years, the South Dundas Christmas Exchange has delivered food boxes to families living in South Dundas, and although the COVID-19 pandemic will mean changes for safety to our packing/delivery setups, we are determined.”
The Exchange has been in touch with all major players and all are on board. Community Food Share (Morrisburg) will pack and distribute boxes to persons living alone; the Morrisburg and District Lions Club and Sandra Johnston in Iroquois will organize the Angel Tree Children’s Gift Program; and the Exchange will organize the Pyjama Drive along with the Family Food Boxes.
“The changes for COVID-19 safety will mean we will not be able to continue with the open door policy for volunteers,” said McNairn. “Volunteers on both the packing and delivery days will be limited to less than 10 people and access to the Legion Hall for food box/gift pickups will be restricted to one person per pickup inside the hall at a time.”
“All persons entering the Legion Hall will be required to wear a mask. Those who cannot, due to medical reasons, will be required to make arrangements for their pickups with someone who can mask up.”
Also, the Exchange will not be providing carry-out assistance this year and will pre-match the children’s Angel gift bags and pjs to the boxes.
Two pickup times are also being considered.
Phone registration is set for November 9-13 and November 15-20, (dates and times will be advertised in The Leader) and the 2020 Christmas food boxes will be distributed from the Morrisburg Legion Hall on Thursday, December 17.
“With the likely change in everyone’s shopping habits this holiday season, we wanted to let our supporters know early that the Exchange dinner boxes, Angel Tree (gifts for children up to 12 years), and PJ Drive (children’s sizes up to small adult) are all a go,” said McNairn.
“Our appeal letters for financial help which enables The Exchange to purchase food (particularly the hams and turkeys, potatoes and carrots) will be sent out to supporters in the coming weeks.”
Last year the Exchange packed food boxes for 129 South Dundas families (over 400 people), and Angel Tree Christmas gifts, pyjamas, books, socks, scarves, mitts were provided to 179 children.
Any church groups, organizations or individuals who wish to organize food drives, pj drives, book drives etc. can call McNairn at 613-543-3344 for information. Financial donations can be made by cheque to South Dundas Christmas Exchange and mailed to B. McNairn PO Box 1389, Morrisburg, On.
More details and events will be listed on a soon to be launched Facebook Page.