Just before Christmas, the Salvation Army in the small city of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, held a Hutterite Appreciation Lunch to honor the local colonies that have supplied tons of free food to help them feed people throughout the year.

Winter in Swift Current, Saskatchewan
Winter in Swift Current, Saskatchewan (Photo by ffunyman in Flickr, Creative Commons license)

Captain Ed Dean of the Swift Current Salvation Army told a reporter that the Hutterites donate a lot of vegetables, chickens, and turkeys every year. The luncheon was his way of saying “thank you for all the generosity they bring …. If it wasn’t for the Hutterites, we would have very little vegetables throughout the year….”

Captain Charlotte Dean told the press that they are emphasizing more than ever before giving healthy foods to the people they feed. They are providing as much non-processed food as possible, a goal that the Hutterite colonies support with their donations. A lot of the food from the colonies at this time of year goes into the Christmas food hampers that the Salvation Army gives out to needy families.

Hutterites at a farmers market in Saskatchewan
Hutterites at a farm market in Saskatchewan (Photo by Peter Merholz on Flickr, Creative Commons license)

A different reporter attending the festive luncheon mentioned the local business partners supporting the feeding programs. Jennifer Bingham from a firm called Pioneer Co-op Agro said that her company has been involved with the Salvation Army’s feeding program for years. “The food that [the Hutterite colonies] have provided makes a big difference in a lot of people’s lives and it’s really been wonderful for us to see … how happy people are to receive that food for Christmas,” she said.

Sue McKeown, a worker in the food bank, told the Hutterites attending the luncheon that the people who need the food very much “appreciate every package of carrots, potatoes, cabbage[s].” The coordinator of the Monday night meal program in Swift Current, Arlene McKenzie, also expressed her appreciation for all the fresh vegetables. She said they help feed 85 to 100 people every Monday.

News stories in 2012 and 2008 described the Hutterite support for the feeding programs by the Salvation Army in Swift Current. Clearly, the colonies are continuing and expanding their generosity toward local needy people.