Donations welcome, expired food is not

expired - This is all food donated to the Christmas Hamper Program that is past its expiry date, and had to be thrown in the garbage. The program cannot distribute expired food when hampers are distributed in December. Organizers are asking anyone who donates to please check the best-before date before donating the items. Photo by Rob Vogt

By Rob Vogt, Local Press Writer

As donations come in for the annual Christmas Hamper Program, organizers are asking people to check the expiry dates of perishable food items before they donate them.

“We’re grateful for people who donate food to the program,” said Roxanne Thompson, publisher of the Claresholm Local Press and organizer of the Christmas Hamper Program.

In fact, there is a need in the community, as more than 140 hampers were distributed last year.

However, she noted, she assumes some people may go through cupboards or pantries and empty them for donations.

“Please, please check the expiry dates,” Thompson said. “We’ve received some food dating back to 2001.”

She emphasized this is the minority of people, but because the program cannot distribute expired food, valuable volunteer time is used to sort through and throw out food whose best-before date has long passed.

“We simply cannot distribute that food,” Thompson said.

She also wants to express her gratitude to those who purchase items new from the grocery store and put them in the drop box.