Make the Season Kind sets new record for Manitoba Harvest donations, reaching nearly $250K

CBC Manitoba is hosting live events all day Friday as part of its annual Make the Season Kind fundraising campaign in support of Harvest Manitoba. There are three ways to donate: drop off food items at Harvest Manitoba at 1085 Winnipeg Ave., call 204-982-3582 until 8 p.m. CT Friday or visit Harvest Manitoba online (select ‘DONATE NOW’ in the top right corner) until Sunday evening.

Make the Season Kind has now received nearly $250,000 in donations — shattering the previous record for the annual fundraiser for Harvest Manitoba, which works to feed thousands of Manitobans every month.

Every year, CBC Manitoba celebrates its annual charity drive in support of local food banks with a day full of live performances by local musicians and heartwarming stories.

As of 5:50 p.m., a total of $148,822 has been raised for Harvest Manitoba, the charitable organization formerly called Winnipeg Harvest. With the first $100,000 in donations matched, the total is $248,822, breaking the previous record of $182,108.50, set in 2013.

“Since March, [it] has been very fast and furious,” said Harvest CEO Keren Taylor-Hughes, referring to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People have exhausted their savings, their jobs haven’t come back, and they’re struggling. Folks that have never been in to use a food bank before. Folks who had used the food bank years ago got themselves back on their feet and now have come back.”

Harvest Manitoba was serving 70,000 Manitobans each month, but during the pandemic, the number has jumped to 85,000 hungry children, adults and seniors and struggling families. Those people are fed with help from over 350 agencies — food banks, soup kitchens, schools and daycares around the province.

There are 15 new families coming to Harvest each day, said Taylor-Hughes.

Of the people who rely on Harvest Manitoba, 43 per cent are children.

Now in its 35th year, Harvest Manitoba collects and shares 11 million pounds of food per year. Just $2.62 is enough to cover the cost of one pound of food. 

All food donations will be added to Harvest hampers, which are put together by volunteers, six days a week.

Make the Season Kind schedule

  • 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. Information Radio with Marcy Markusa, featuring artists Renée Lamoureux, Jason and Nadia Burnstick and Naina Jinga. 
  • Noon to 1 p.m. Radio Noon with Marjorie Dowhos and an hour of storytelling focused on food.
  • 3 to 6 p.m. Up to Speed with Sam Samson, featuring artists Ingrid D. Johnson, live carollers and more.
  • 6 to 7 p.m. CBC Winnipeg News. Wrap up the day with Marjorie Dowhos and John Sauder. Donation lines will be open throughout the broadcast and until 8 p.m.

The programming continues Dec. 5-6 on The Weekend Morning Show with Nadia Kidwai, from 6 to 9 a.m.

Last year more than $60,000 was raised in support of Harvest Manitoba.

This year, all donations made on Friday until 8 p.m. will be matched, up to $100,000, so there is opportunity to raise $200,000.

Top 10 food needs

This year, Harvest Manitoba’s top five most-needed food items are:

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