Christmas charity drives near end

NANAIMO – Hamperville and other organizations wrap up donation gathering programs and get set for holiday distribution.

Food banks and warehouse centres are wrapping up the gathering phase of their programs as they swing into distribution mode for the holidays.

Hamperville, operating this year from Laird/Wheaton GM Group’s old Madill building on Bowen Road, has gathered and sorted food since mid-November and its 300 volunteers started distributing hampers Wednesday.

Jim Duddridge, Hamperville spokesman, said it looks like donation totals will be lower this year compared to 2011, which was a bumper year for donations that piled up 57,000 kg of food plus $45,000 in cash used to buy fresh food, such as turkeys, chickens, hams, oranges, potatoes, carrots, bread, milk, cheese and eggs.

Food is still coming in until Friday (Dec. 21) and some Nanaimo high schools have yet to bring their contributions, but it looks like donations will be down in 2012. As of Tuesday 45,500 kg of food had been brought in, which included 6,800 kg of food from Hamperville’s single biggest contributor Big Boys Toys.

Monetary donations might be up this year, though, with $19,000 in cash donations so far – that figure converts to about $23,000 with food retailer discounts – brought in by the end of last week, showing a higher figure than for the same period last year.

This year’s food donations alone represent $275,000 worth of groceries.

“That’s just food,” Duddridge said. “Then you add in our cash to that and we’re up to $300,000, so that’s a hell of a lot of generosity there.”

This year’s figures mean no one will go without a food hamper and the worst case scenario is that there could be less food left over to carry food banks into the new year than there was in 2011. There are other opportunities for people to share with others before Christmas.

Wal-Mart will match all donations made at the Salvation Army Kettle stationed at its front doors today (Dec. 20) – an opportunity for people with a little spare change to double their donations.

Cowichan Food Connection’s Bread Van is an organization of volunteers which has operated since 1996, bringing bread to food banks and other locations where food is needed.

The organization has moved its bread warehouse pick up point to Nanaimo and now includes weekly drops to the Salvation Army and Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank and Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre in Nanaimo plus other locations north of the Malahat.

Upwards of 3,000 loaves are donated and delivered weekly and all operating costs, such as cellphone bills and fuel, are covered by community donations, which are down this year. Charles Lukas, the organization’s director of operations, said donations of cash or fuel vouchers are welcome.

“We can give them tax receipts and if they want to give us money then they can get their name on the truck,” Lukas said.

To donate or learn more about Cowichan Food Connection, please visit or contact Kim Sayer at 1-250-856-0046 or via e-mail at

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read