Feed A Family, Harbour Lights raise over $300K for N.B. food banks

·3 min read
Feed A Family, Harbour Lights raise over $300K for N.B. food banks

Information Morning Saint John and Fredericton's respective holiday campaigns have both exceeded $100,000 in fundraising.

So far CBC Saint John's Harbour Lights Campaign, in conjunction with the Saint John Port Authority, has raised $156,953 to help 15 food banks in southern New Brunswick.

"It's been tremendous," said Paula Copeland, the chair of the Harbour Lights board.

"When we all spoke about it in the summer, we were, you know, wondering what it would be like this year, considering that we weren't going to have the usual elements that we have with the campaign. But we've been blown away by the support from individuals."

Meanwhile, Fredericton's Feed A Family campaign has raised $144,528 to help district 3 food banks.

"The need will never be met entirely but this sure helps the food banks a lot," said Jane Buckley, the chair of district 3 food banks.

"It replenishes what they're using right now this month to do the Christmas dinner and to do the Christmas hampers, to provide gifts for the children."

Big spenders

Both shows saw their fair share of big donations during the live programs this morning.

In Fredericton the LeBrun family donated $10,000 to the campaign.

"I want to thank all the employees and volunteers that do such amazing work helping people who find themselves in need... people working in our food banks, homeless shelters, out of the cold shelters, soup kitchens, downtown health clinic and more," said Marcel LeBrun in an email to Information Morning Fredericton.

"They do incredible and difficult work, so thank you."

Christmas past and predictions

Two familiar voices joined Information Morning Saint John for the show, which would normally have been held at the Saint John City Market, with live bands and a charity breakfast put on by city council.

CBC News at 6 host Harry Forestell stopped by to reminisce about what Christmas was like for him growing up in Saint John.

"Growing up in Saint John, one of the things I anticipated most as a kid was seeing the lights uptown, because no matter how tough things were economically in Saint John, the city always put up Christmas lights and it always made uptown look magical," said Forestell.

"I can just imagine what it's like right now with a few centimetres of snow on the ground. It must look magical there right now."

As well, CBC reporter Robert Jones looked into his crystal ball for some predictions for what 2021 has in store, along with a few wisecracks.

"I always kind of suspected that eventually the Christmas at the Market show would be shut by a public health emergency, but always thought it would be related to the mayor's breakfast," said Jones.

"You know, room temperature sausages, I could see that. A pandemic, never saw that coming."

Carrying a tune

Of course, the Feed a Family campaign would not be complete without a little bit of live music.

While most years feature an audience, Fredericton born singer/songwriter David Myles had to settle for a physically distant performance.

"Music puts me in the spirit of Christmas, but nothing puts me in the spirit, like seeing people's generosity," said Myles.

"It just is so moving."