Community artists and a school are rallying together to help Lighthouse Mission keep stomachs fed.

Over the past year, the popular soup kitchen has been seeing even more people than usual walk through its doors. While helping is what they do, it comes with an added cost.

" Last year in 2020 we saw an 18 per cent increase in the number of meals we provided and a 43 per cent increase in the number of emergency hampers we provided," Beverly Ajtay, Lighthouse Mission's Operations Manager says. "That is a huge cost increase as well."

They are also finishing renovations in the space next door to them, set to double the space size for their daytime drop-in shelter, making year's art auction more important than ever.

Local artists have been donating their work to the online auction to help the mission raise funds. Ajtay is enjoying connecting with the variety of artists in the city, both new and familiar to the auction.

"The biggest part of the art auction has been collecting the artwork donations. We have just shy of 100 pieces of art that have been donated to us."

A local school's Grades Six to Eight has been creating art for the auction.

"Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary School was a big part of it."

The young students donated close to a quarter of the auction's total art.