By Leah Blain, Observer contributor
The deadline for registering for a Christmas food hamper at the Salvation Army Food Bank is December 1.
“It takes time to get everything together – all the food,” says Salvation Army community services coordinator Dave Byers. “We do about 550 hampers in December. It takes about two weeks to get the food in. By the time we order the food and put them together and the toys too, it’s a process.”
Byers says when people register to receive a hamper, they indicate the number of people in the household and the number of children and their ages so everyone can receive a present as well.
“The hamper is basically a Christmas dinner, everything you need. I order the food and we put them together.”
The Christmas food hamper pickup day is December 20 and the toys can be picked up anywhere between December 12 – 15.
“We also do adopt-a-family at Christmas. People can phone us and let us know by 18th. Usually when people do that the families get spoiled. People can do food or gifts or both. They can tell us, ‘I want to help a single man with children, or a single lady with children.’”
Byers says the Holiday Train (Thursday, December 14) is a huge part of the food bank’s fundraising and he encourages everyone to take in the festivities and remember to take a donation.
“It’s pretty big – they usually send us a big cheque and we get between 3,000-4,000 lbs of food. The stop in Canoe did very well for us last year and this year Canoe gets a full show. It’s earlier in the evening so for those who have kids it might be the place to go.”
Byers says items they are in particular need of right now includes: bacon, cooked ham in tins, fresh vegetables, apples, and oranges. For the Christmas hampers they need chocolate, hard candies, wrapping paper, tape, name tags, bows, gloves, and personal care kits.
“For the shelter we can also use little travel-size soaps, deodorants, tooth-paste, tooth brushes.”
Byers says they are great need of volunteers for the next few weeks to help with the Salvation Army kettles. Anyone who is interested can phone the Salvation Army.
The food bank is located at 441-3rd Ave. S.W. Donations can be dropped off Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 8 am – 11 am, or on Tuesday and Thursday from 8 am – 1 pm.
To contact them about volunteering with the kettles call 250-832-9194.