With the holiday season on the horizon, registration and donations are being accepted for the Hamperville Christmas hamper program in Nanaimo.
The program is a partnership between Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank and Salvation Army in Nanaimo. Peter Sinclair, food bank executive director, said people can register at Loaves and Fishes depots across Nanaimo, with a registration deadline of Dec. 4 and hamper distribution from Dec. 14 through Dec. 23.
Sinclair also said protocols will be put in place intended to prevent COVID-19 spread.
“The big change this year is that the hampers will be distributed from either our Farquhar Street location or the Salvation Army church … and both locations will be offering a drive-through service,” said Sinclair. “This enables people to stay warm and dry and also social distance while they pick up their food. That said, we recognize everyone doesn’t have a vehicle and so we will be accepting walk-through people too.”
Donations of food and money are also sought and donations can be dropped off at Loaves and Fishes’ warehouse at 210 Fry St.
“Any of the basic non-perishable staples are really critical, so pasta, pasta sauce, canned fruits and vegetables, proteins,” said Sinclair. “We also make sure that we provide clients with a gift card. This is to ensure that they can go and pick up their ham or turkey or whatever it is that’s most appropriate for them. But if people want to make a donation of a ham or turkey, we’ll certainly make sure that gets to a family in need too. Basically, if it’s food, we’ll accept it as a donation and make sure that gets into the hands of someone that can use it.”
People looking to sponsor a family for a Christmas hamper can contact the Salvation Army, said Dawne Anderson, fundraising and promotions coordinator.
“Businesses can come on-board and give us a call if they want to be a business that sponsors a family,” said Anderson; for information, call 250-824-0197.
If people miss registration for Christmas hampers, there will be one last chance in late December, Sinclair said.
“We do have late hamper registration and pickup on Dec. 23,” said Sinclair. “So no one will go without, but if you want the pre-booked time and know when to pick it up, you’ve got to do that by Dec. 4.”
For more information, go to www.nanaimoloavesandfishes.org.