A record number of people signed up for Nanaimo’s Christmas Hamper program, but all went home with food thanks to a record number of donations.
Hamper registrations totalled 2,300 this year, up from 1,930 in 2010.
“That equates to a total of 5,085 people, 1,700 of which are children,” said Jim Duddridge, program spokesman, in a press release. “In response, however, we were able to gather 4,837 kilograms more food than last year’s 53,000 kilograms.”
There was enough food to fill the hampers as well as stock the shelves of the Salvation Army and Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank into the new year, Duddridge said.
“They say a measure of a community’s generosity is how they respond during lean times and Nanaimo came through with flying colours,” he said.
More than 300 volunteers collected and sorted food donations, prepared hampers and helped distribute them Dec. 20-22.
“I think the longest wait was about 10 minutes to get people through,” said Duddridge. “People showed up not realizing what they were getting, so we had drivers available to give them a ride home.
“The comments I heard were people were pleased they were treated with such respect during a difficult time.”
Program organizers will be holding a meeting in January to discuss what worked well and what can be improved on.
“We have organizational meetings throughout the year, but will firing up again in September,” said Duddridge.
For more information on the program, please go to http://hampervillenanaimo.org.