The Christmas Cheer Campaign is underway across Western Manitoba and that includes Melita and area, this being the 35th year for the purchasing, wrapping and packing of food and gift hampers for area families.

Donna Bell chairs the local cheer board and says they send out close to 40 hampers each year. She says the collection boxes and bins will be positioned out on the streets of Melita early next week with donation collection ending on December 1st.

"We have a gift committee, and we have a food committee," explains Bell. "Once we know the ages of the children the gift committee shop for pajamas, toys and books and more. The food committee looks after the chickens or turkeys, fresh vegetables and perishables like that."

Along with cash donations the group is also looking for non-perishable food items, such as chicken or turkey Stove Top stuffing, canned fruit and vegetables, fancy crackers, cranberry and apple sauces, cookies and candies and juice cartons.  Breakfast items are also included in each food hamper, so the cheer board welcomes jams and peanut butter, pancake mix and syrup, and cereals boxes or bags of oatmeal.

Children gifts for boys and girls under 12 years of age can also be donated, or the cash to purchase children's gifts can be dropped off at Sunrise Credit Union or RBC.

“We’ll be packing the hampers at the United Church again and we'll be delivering the hampers on December 16th”

"We look forward to helping all the people who are in need," adds Donna Bell.  "There will be posters that we'll hang out next week with a list of all the items that we need.  If anyone wants to hear anymore about the Melita and area Christmas Cheer they can contact me."

The Melita Christmas Cheer program serves Melita and the surrounding communities of Napinka, Elva, Coulter, Lyleton, Pierson, Broomhill and Tilston.