A Nanaimo food bank is appealing to the community to embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season.
Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank is in the process of collecting items for its Hamperville Christmas hamper campaign and according to Peter Sinclair, executive director, volunteers are needed in addition to food.
“We’re expecting to provide 2,200 Christmas hampers this year going out to over 5,000 people and we’re going to need 42,000 kilograms of food to make that happen and the challenge that we’re in is we need that food to come in sooner rather than later because we start distributing Christmas hampers on Dec. 9,” said Sinclair. “The other place where we’re pinched is we need volunteers. We’ve got 250 volunteer shifts that are not filled yet and we need them filled ASAP.”
Peanut butter, canned tuna and fish, canned fruits and vegetables, pasta and pasta sauce are some of the most-sought-after items and Sinclair said non-perishable goods can be dropped off at any grocery store in Nanaimo or the Loaves and Fishes warehouse, located at 210 Fry St.
Money will also be accepted to go toward turkeys and the like, said Sinclair.
“As we get frozen turkeys, we make them available for people, but instead of everyone getting a turkey, what we do is we provide gift cards at local grocery stores, so people can go choose what’s most appropriate for them … there’s going to be $30,000 worth of gift cards going out, so we need money to make that happen,” said Sinclair.
Registration for Christmas hampers has begun at all Loaves and Fishes depots and Sinclair said the last day people can pre-register is Saturday, Dec. 7 at Generations Church. After that, a late-registration, first-come-first-served option will be offered on Dec. 23 at noon at the Farquhar Street depot.
For more information, go to www.nanaimoloavesandfishes.org.