Volunteers and staff at the Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank are currently organizing for the Christmas Assistance Program.
Food Bank Manager Thom Tarte says volunteers are currently phoning clients to see if they would like to receive a special food hamper for Christmas.
Hampers will be handed out the week of December 18 to 22.
Tarte says calling to register for a hamper helps out with planning as then they know the numbers and can estimate costs.
“It’s hard to know what the numbers will be,” he said. “We are calling clients now. We may get other people requesting a hamper as well. You don’t have to be a client to get a hamper, but there is a process.”
You can call 250-427-5522, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. to register. The Food Bank is hoping to have a finalized list by December 9.
“We will try and accommodate those that miss the deadline, but we do want to know as much as possible by then,” he said.
Tarte says they are hoping to have larger hampers this year as they did have a few extra food trucks come in.
As usual, Kimberley residents are stepping up and Tarte says lots of donations are coming in.
There are many business and community group fundraisers happening in the next few weeks.
“We are seeing lots of excellent support,” he said.
The support is welcome with rising food prices.
The Food Bank has been getting quite busy in the last month, he says, adding that it’s normal for it to be busier in the winter.
Kimberley has not seen the major increase in need for food bank services that some other communities have, but Tarte says he expects it will come at some time.
“It will likely happen, but we don’t know when.”
Last year handing out hampers was the first function to occur in the new food bank location on Knighton Road.
The new location is working out great, he said.
“We were grateful for our last building, but here we have more parking, more room, more light. The new location raises the bar on atmosphere.”
And a lot of that atmosphere comes from the great volunteers, without whom the Food Bank could not function, he said.