After the pandemic years, during which the Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank ran a different type of Christmas Hamper program, things are returning to normal this year.
For the past couple of years, Christmas Hampers took the form of gift cards from the local grocery stores so clients could purchase their own food. But Food Bank Manager Thom Tarte and fellow volunteers at the Food Bank are pleased to announce that they will be returning to real food in the hampers this year.
“Giving out food is a tradition in Kimberley and we want to return to that,” Tarte said.
Anyone wishing to apply for a hamper can begin immediately, and up to December 9, 2022.
Tarte urges you to apply as soon as you can, given that they expect the hamper program to be quite popular this year.
“With cost of food right now, we expect to be quite busy this Christmas,” he said. “The sooner you can call, the better.”
There will be extra volunteers on to take applications on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You can call 250-427-5522 to apply for your hamper between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Tarte says it’s hard to say how expensive each hamper will be, given rising food costs, but he does say that the partnership with the Kimberley Food Recovery Program will help.
However, as always, donations to the Christmas Hamper Program are needed.
“There will be a lot of cost in the month of December because in addition to the hampers, we also have to maintain the regular program.
“We certainly rely on donations.”
He added the donations in the form of cheques or cash are best.
Food donations are always helpful, he said, but the Food Bank volunteers know exactly what they want in each hamper, so having the cash to buy it is best. You can drop off donations at the old location of the Food Bank — the former Anglican Church across from Centex, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
However, the hampers themselves will be distributed out of the Food Bank’s new location on at 255 Knighton Road, across from the city works yard.
They will be distributed from December 19 to 23, 2022
Tarte says they will have shifts working out of both locations during December.
And there will be no Angel Tree program. Last year, Kimberley Rotary took over fundraising for gifts for kids, and Tarte says that worked so well, that Rotary will continue to take charge of that program.
Dates to remember:
• Apply for your hamper by December 9, 2022 by calling 250-427-5522.
• Pick up your hamper at the new Food Bank location at 255 Knighton Road between December 19 to 23, 2022.