From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Portage la Prairie residents will be challenged to Blow Away Hunger.

Formerly known as Jingle Bell Breakfast in years past, Blow Away Hunger encourages Portagers to stop by the Rona parking lot and make a donation of cash, non-perishable food items, or new unwrapped toys for the Salvation Army Food Bank and their Christmas Hamper program.

Major Brenda Hammond from the Salvation Army in Portage says that there has been more tension this year with families signing up for hampers.

"Parents are worried they don't have that little bit extra to give something nice for Christmas. We've had a lot of new registrations of low-income families that just cannot make it this year. What I want to say is that a lean Christmas is not a less joyful Christmas. You can have a lean Christmas and still have an amazing time with friends and family."

File Photo.Major Brenda Hammond.

Hammond says she looks forward to a long day of collecting for the Salvation Army.

"It's a very, very big day. I'm going to take my vitamins and wear my sweater," laughs Hammond.

Wayne Klippenstein from Rona Portage explains that the store is happy to host such an important fundraising event.

"This year, we know that the request for help from the Salvation Army has increased significantly. So, we want to raise the bar and do our best and ensure that Blow Away Hunger Project is a success."

File Photo.Wayne Klippenstein.

Rona is celebrating 20 years in Portage la Prairie in January, and Klippenstein says in those two decades, Rona has always been happy and excited to give back to the community.

"Rona Portage is so grateful for the tremendous support we received from all our customers. That ultimately gives us the ability to give back to the community and support a project such as Blow Away Hunger."

CFRY, Country 93, and Mix 96 will broadcast live from the fundraising event during the 12 hours; tune into one of the three stations for constant updates on Blow Away Hunger.

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