Donations needed for hampers

NANAIMO – Organizations partner for Christmas hamper program.

Peter Sinclair

Peter Sinclair

People in need will get to choose part of what goes into their Christmas hamper this year.

Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank and the Nanaimo Salvation Army are partnering for Hamperville Nanaimo for the 11th year. This year, people who register will have the opportunity to choose what goes in their hamper.

Peter Sinclair, Loaves and Fishes’ executive director, said there are a number of different categories. Based on the number of people in their household, clients will get to choose various amounts of food items from each category.

“We want to continually improve the service that we offer to people in need and one of the biggest ways we can do that is by offering choice. Each one of us, when we go to the grocery store, we choose the items that we want and we think it adds a lot of dignity to able to [ask], ‘What would you like?’” he said.

Sinclair said another change this year will see a different distribution, as a depot network system will be utilized.

“Rather than everybody coming to one location and picking their food up, over a period of three days, we have 13 different depots throughout the city that people will be able to pick their food up at,” Sinclair said.

He said organizers are expecting upwards of 6,000 people in 2,500 different households to use Hamperville in 2014. Families can register at any Loaves and Fishes depot or the Salvation Army’s New Hope Centre at 19 Nicol St. until Dec. 13.

Food and money donations will be accepted.

Rob Anderson, Nanaimo Salvation Army’s director of community ministries, said organizers aim to collect 150,000 pounds of food.

“We need a minimum of 130,000 [pounds] to be able to make sure everyone gets assisted,” Anderson said.

For more information on Hamperville, including registration and pick up, please visit

Sinclair said more than 700 volunteer spots need to be filled. People can register by clicking on the ‘volunteers’ tab on the website.