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Leuty residents launch daily flags

Artist Benedict Hilliard reveals the first of 25 holiday flags on Leuty Avenue on Dec. 1. Residents on the street reveal a new ‘advent’ flag each day leading to Christmas, which are then auctioned off to raise money for the Daily Bread Food Bank. PHOTO: Andrew Hudson

Artist Benedict Hilliard reveals the first of 25 holiday flags on Leuty Avenue on Dec. 1. Residents on the street reveal a new ‘advent’ flag each day leading to Christmas, which are then auctioned off to raise money for the Daily Bread Food Bank.
PHOTO: Andrew Hudson

Dozens of Beach families will raise flags, funds and food for the Daily Bread Food Bank this Christmas.

Starting on Dec. 1 and running every day until Dec. 25, one house on Queen Street and two dozen on Leuty and Violet Avenues will fly a new holiday flag above their front steps and patios.

Inspired by Advent calendars and ranging from abstracts to landscapes, the art flags will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder on the Daily Flag for Daily Bread website.

“I’d just like to say a few words about why we’re here again,” said organizer Michelynn Lafleche to the crowd gathered at her Leuty Avenue home for the first unveiling.

“There has been a bit of an economic recovery, but still the demand at food banks is 25 per cent higher than it was pre-recession. And the supply is not keeping up anymore.”

Nancy Bennett, a director at the Daily Food Bank, said Daily Bread has three food banks that help families in the Beach, and 170 agencies across the city.

Bennett saluted the Daily Flag project as an original community effort that is key to the Beach.

Last year, the project raised $11,619 – enough to buy 485 holiday hampers and 1,394 days of groceries. This year’s target is $12,000, and Bennett said it couldn’t come at a better time.

“We hit our goal at Thanksgiving this year, and then it immediately dropped off,” she said, noting that the drop-off was about a quarter lower than usual, and that holiday donations make up 75 per cent of Daily Bread’s annual total.

“It’s a big drop for us, in a really high-demand time of year.”

Visit the Daily Flag for Daily Bread website, Facebook or Twitter pages to see daily unveilings and find out how to donate.

The flag auction runs until Jan. 11, and there will be a neighbourhood tour to see all the flags on the weekend after New Year’s.

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