Make the Season Kind campaign in support of Harvest Manitoba sets record of $330K and climbing

To donate, you can call 1-204-982-3581 (from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.), drop off food items at Harvest Manitoba (1085 Winnipeg Ave.) or give online.


CBC Manitoba’s annual charity drive in support of Harvest Manitoba has set a monetary donation record for food banks in the province. 

The Make the Season Kind campaign kicked off Friday morning, with a full day of programming and music that includes performances on CBC Manitoba’s radio shows.

As of 9 p.m. Friday, $330,294 has been raised for the organization, which feeds close to 90,000 Manitobans every month.

Last year’s campaign raised more than $306,000.

Harvest Manitoba says the number of Manitobans using a food bank is up 40 per cent since last year. CBC Manitoba’s goal is for donations to exceed last year’s campaign total by the same 40 per cent to match the increase in demand.

Trio Bembe performed as part of CBC Manitoba’s Make the Season Kind campaign to raise food and monetary donations for Harvest Manitoba. (Justin Deeley/CBC)

That’s the highest year-over-year increase the organization says it has ever seen.

“[It’s] a similar story coast to coast to coast. The important thing to remember is these are real people, these are people in our community,” Harvest Manitoba CEO Vince Barletta told host Marcy Markusa during a Friday morning interview with CBC Manitoba’s Information Radio.

“That’s why we’ve put out this year’s Harvest Voices report, so that Manitobans can get to know some of these people who use food banks, hear their stories, and hear some of the terrible choices that they have to make.”

Harvest works with 350 agencies all over Manitoba: food banks, soup kitchens, daycares, schools.

Another record statistic this year is the number of children being helped — about 15,000 every month at food banks across the province, Barletta said.

The number of people needing to use a food bank even though they have a job is also spiking, the organization says.

Cassidy Mann performs in studio at CBC on Friday. (Jason Deeley/CBC)

As well, Indigenous people are making up an increasing proportion of those using food banks in Manitoba, at more than 41 per cent, while those with a disability or health condition account for 60 per cent of clients.

“Inflation, inflation, inflation … rising prices for just about everything we buy, and in particular food, is just forcing people into food bank situations,” Barletta said.

Many “simply can’t make ends meet after they pay their rent and they pay all their other bills,” he said.

“When folks are going to the grocery store with $40 or less in their pocket to feed their families for the week, you’re making some pretty difficult choices.”

Jerry Sereda performs on CBC’s Radio Noon during Make the Season Kind on Friday. Donations can made by dropping off items at Harvest Manitoba, calling 1-204-982-3581 or online. (Jason Deeley/CBC)

How to give

This year, there are three ways to donate:

  1. Call 1-204-982-3581 (donation lines will be open from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2).
  2. Donate online.
  3. Drop off food items at Harvest Manitoba (1085 Winnipeg Avenue).

If you’re donating food, here are the top 10 food items that Harvest Manitoba needs:

  • Canned fruit.
  • Canned soup/stew.
  • Canned tuna.
  • Canned vegetables.
  • Pasta.
  • Pasta sauce.
  • Rice.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Baby formula/food.
  • Instant oatmeal.

For more information, go to www.cbc.ca/bekindmb.